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Author Topic: Give Ireland Back To The Irish  (Read 1149 times)

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BlueMeanie

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Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« on: January 04, 2007, 08:32:12 PM »

Tell  me, is Macca embarassed by this song? It's a long time since I've heard it - I bought the single when it came out - but I remember liking it. It has never appeared on any of his or Wings' numerous best of's, or any live album. I know that Wings used to play it in the early days. Maybe he just decided not to do the political thing?

Any ideas??
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Wordno

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2007, 04:52:06 PM »

I don't think hes embarassed about it at all. I think its a great rock political song, I just don't think its one of Wings best songs. You're right though, Wings did preform that song on their early tours. Paul said it got a very good reaction and people liked it. I just think that Paul knows people won't take any of political songs seriously because all they want to hear is 'Can't buy me love'. Which is rather unfortunate...
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raxo

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 01:05:05 AM »

This is what Paul said ...

"PAUL MCCARTNEY IN HIS OWN WORDS" (Paul Gambaccini)
Part Five THE SINGER,THE SONGS & THE SONGWRITER.

"'Give Ireland Back to the Irish' was the first of your singles in eight years that didn't sell in America and Britain.

            Before I did that, I always used to think. God, John's crackers, doing all these political songs. I understand he really feels deeply, you know. So do I. I hate all that Nixon bit, all that Ireland bit, and oppression anywhere. I think our mob do, our generation do hate that and wish it could be changed, but up until the actual time when the paratroopers went in and killed a few people, a bit like Kent State, the moment when it is actually there on the doorstep, I always used to think it's still cool to not say anything about it, because it's not going to sell anyway and no one's gonna be Interested.
            So I tried it, it was Number One in Ireland and, funnily enough, it was Number One in Spain, of all places. I don't think Franco could have understood."


from here: http://wingspan.ru/bookseng/hisown/hisown05.html

P.S. This reminds me of a little topic from 11 months ago now ...
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 02:26:37 PM »

Quote from: 297
This is what Paul said ...

"PAUL MCCARTNEY IN HIS OWN WORDS" (Paul Gambaccini)
Part Five THE SINGER,THE SONGS & THE SONGWRITER.

"'Give Ireland Back to the Irish' was the first of your singles in eight years that didn't sell in America and Britain.

            

Not true. Back seat of my Car only got to 39 in Britain. In August '71.
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raxo

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 02:41:23 PM »

^That was the interviewer's statement ... but was Back Seat Of My Car released in USA as a single? ??)  ... if not, that could be the reason ...
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 06:05:33 PM »

Quote from: 297
^That was the interviewer's statement ... but was Back Seat Of My Car released in USA as a single? ??)  ... if not, that could be the reason ...

No, only the UK. But in any case, Give Ireland Back To The Irish reached 16 in Britain, and given that that was in '73 I wouldn't exactly say that it hadn't sold!! It probably sold half a million, which is more than no.1's these days.
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raxo

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 08:06:38 PM »

Quote from: 483
[...]It probably sold half a million, which is more than no.1's these days.
Who buys a single nowadays? ... or better, who buys a record nowadays that more and more people download from the net?  >:(  :-/

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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 09:35:52 AM »

Great! Found a thread for this 45.
There is a reason for reactivating it.

Last night BBC Four showed an hour long documentary about banned records, followed by another hour long programme playing many of those banned records.
That's two whole hours on the subject, so you'd think there'd be time for the most successful songwriter of all time (that's Paul) and his wonderful 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' 45 to get a mention, and then it occurred to me the reason why it wouldn't.

Despite being banned at the time, ALL the records played would now be played without a second thought on British radio.....'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' would not.

So crass, vulgar rubbish by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and George Michael (to name just two) have been re-evaluated, but a song which simply asks whether someone living in Birmingham or Liverpool would want to a pass soldiers on their way to work like the Belfast public had to in the late 60s/early 1970s hasn't. Genius.

Way to go, Paul!
They wouldn't admit it, but I'd put a considerable amount of money on it that the BBC still has an 'unofficial' ban on 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish'.
Not bad after 42 years.....beat that Johnny Rotten.
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In My Life

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 08:17:14 PM »


Way to go, Paul!
They wouldn't admit it, but I'd put a considerable amount of money on it that the BBC still has an 'unofficial' ban on 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish'.

That's very interesting oldbrownshoe. I was just thinking about that song and what it represents. That's one thing Paul and John seemed to agree on.
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Kelley

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nimrod

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 11:30:29 PM »

I never even knew this thread existed  roll:)

tbh I always thought this song was a bit silly, overly simplistic in its stated solutions, even the title 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' is silly imo

Well Paul, there is a country called Ireland, it is an independent country belonging to the Irish, its called The Republic of Ireland.

Paul of course is singing about Northern Ireland which is part of Great Britain or the United Kingdom . The problem is that approx half of Northern Irish people see themselves as British and want to remain within the UK, this is approx 50% of the population who would disagree with Paul on this,

Its not like 'eveybody in Northern Ireland wants to be Irish'

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Moogmodule

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 11:51:01 PM »

I never even knew this thread existed  roll:)

tbh I always thought this song was a bit silly, overly simplistic in its stated solutions, even the title 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' is silly imo

Well Paul, there is a country called Ireland, it is an independent country belonging to the Irish, its called The Republic of Ireland.

Paul of course is singing about Northern Ireland which is part of Great Britain or the United Kingdom . The problem is that approx half of Northern Irish people see themselves as British and want to remain within the UK, this is approx 50% of the population who would disagree with Paul on this,

Its not like 'eveybody in Northern Ireland wants to be Irish'

I tend to agree.  Though I suppose all the troubles at that time were from the IRA and the like trying to get the British to relinquish control of Northern Ireland. So in that context Paul's song makes some sense. Simplistic though as you point out. It was clear that the British half were never going to lie down easily if Northern Ireland was joined with the republic. That's what made the problem so difficult.

But I don't think I've ever heard a protest song that didn't simplify the issues to the point of cliche anyway, so Paul's sin isn't unique.



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nimrod

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 12:02:55 AM »

I tend to agree.  Though I suppose all the troubles at that time were from the IRA and the like trying to get the British to relinquish control of Northern Ireland. So in that context Paul's song makes some sense. Simplistic though as you point out. It was clear that the British half were never going to lie down easily if Northern Ireland was joined with the republic. That's what made the problem so difficult.

But I don't think I've ever heard a protest song that didn't simplify the issues to the point of cliche anyway, so Paul's sin isn't unique.

and lets also not forget that a large percentage of the population who dont see themselves as British see themselves as Northern Irish

from wiki..
In the 2011 census in Northern Ireland respondents gave their national identity as follows

British           48.4%   
Irish                   28.4%   
Northern Irish   29.4%   
English, Scottish or Welsh   1.6%   
All other           3.4%

so only 28.4% of the population see themselves as Irish, I wonder if Paul knew that when he suggested handing it over to the Republic ?

maybe the other 72% didnt want to be 'given away'

what would have been the outcome, civil war ? another Yugoslavia ?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 12:06:22 AM by nimrod »
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Moogmodule

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 12:25:30 AM »

and lets also not forget that a large percentage of the population who dont see themselves as British see themselves as Northern Irish

from wiki..
In the 2011 census in Northern Ireland respondents gave their national identity as follows

British           48.4%   
Irish                   28.4%   
Northern Irish   29.4%   
English, Scottish or Welsh   1.6%   
All other           3.4%

so only 28.4% of the population see themselves as Irish, I wonder if Paul knew that when he suggested handing it over to the Republic ?

maybe the other 72% didnt want to be 'given away'

what would have been the outcome, civil war ? another Yugoslavia ?

Being "given away" wasn't simply a formality of changing who your government was and national boundaries either. Irish law was heavily influenced by Catholicism so things like divorce and contraception law were very conservative. I doubt many non Catholics in Northern Ireland would have welcomed living under a catholic regime. So some form of rebellion against being joined to the republic would have been very likely. 
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Moogmodule

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 12:41:06 AM »

None of this by the way is meant to suggest England didn't do a lot of crap stuff in Ireland over the centuries. And the modern day problems can be traced back to a lot of that.  I'm not trying to excuse the English in all this.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 02:16:02 AM »

Bloody Sunday   30 January 1972


Bloody Sunday ~ The Story ~ Part 1


Bloody Sunday ~ The Story ~ Part 2

Nearly all the dead were shot in the back
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2014, 02:17:00 AM »

It wasn't the first time a massacre precipitated a rock song...


Ohio


Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Ohio 1970 Kent State University

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young   1970
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2014, 02:17:57 AM »

Way to go, Paul!
They wouldn't admit it, but I'd put a considerable amount of money on it that the BBC still has an 'unofficial' ban on 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish'.

Give Ireland Back To The Irish wasn't banned in the United States, oldbrownshoe.  Rather it just received very limited airplay.  WBAI-FM Pacifica Radio, a listener-supported radio station in New York City, played it a lot.
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2014, 12:11:00 PM »

Interesting Hello Goodbye. 'Irish' was always going to be more controversial in Britain.

All campaigning songs have to be simple and cliched, so I don't think we can criticize Paul for that.

Actually, the bit I find most interesting now isn't the political angle, but rather that Paul wrote a song 42 years ago which has effortlessly outlived, in terms of controversy, thousands of banned songs since 1972.

Outside of a mention on a documentary (which it didn't even get on BBC Four) there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you would hear that song on British radio, and the year is now 2014. I doubt it'll get a play in the next 42 years either.
 
In contrast, Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax' was banned for approximately 3 days!
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nimrod

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2014, 10:27:00 PM »

I tend to agree.  Though I suppose all the troubles at that time were from the IRA and the like trying to get the British to relinquish control of Northern Ireland. So in that context Paul's song makes some sense. Simplistic though as you point out. It was clear that the British half were never going to lie down easily if Northern Ireland was joined with the republic. That's what made the problem so difficult.

But I don't think I've ever heard a protest song that didn't simplify the issues to the point of cliche anyway, so Paul's sin isn't unique.


This BBC article about the song cites Dylans 'Only A Pawn In Their Game' as something that Pauls song cant compare with

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/0/23503040
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Moogmodule

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Re: Give Ireland Back To The Irish
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2014, 11:04:55 PM »

This BBC article about the song cites Dylans 'Only A Pawn In Their Game' as something that Pauls song cant compare with

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/0/23503040


Interesting. When I wrote that comment above about protest songs being simplistic etc, the exception in my head was some of the early Dylan stuff like Only a Pawn. And the Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll. That folk style which allowed Dylan to write long, almost spoken verses, probably made it easier to add more nuance than generally found in protest songs.

And to be fair to Paul, an incident like Bloody Sunday is naturally going to stir passions whatever ones views of the merits of either side of the conflict. 
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