The Patriot Game

You really can’t get more melancholic than the old Irish rebel song “The Patriot Game” — and for those not familiar with the song, the lyrics were written in the 1950s to commemorate those who participated in the Border Campaign, mostly in the tradition of an-uprising-a-generation that was only recently broken with the advent of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The lyrics, most of all, created a great deal of controversy… as they criticized Eamon de Valera, who at the time was still alive and for most of the 1950s alternated as Taoiseach:

This Ireland of mine has for long been half free,
Six counties are under John Bull’s tyranny.
And still de Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the patriot game.

De Valera was — of course — notorious for his complicity in the assassination of Michael Collins over the 1921 Treaty, with Collins supporting the treaty as “the freedom to achieve freedom” while de Valera insisted on fighting on for a united Ireland. ┬áNo small irony, then.

…but it makes for great history!

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