1973 | Folk
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“Oh my father was an Ulsterman, proud Protestant was he. -- My mother was a Catholic girl, from County Cork was she. -- They were married in two churches, lived happily enough. -- Until the day that I was born and things got rather tough.”
- The big mix up of this song comes for the Protestant (orange) and Catholic (green) beliefs of one man's family.
- Co-Founder George Millar is the only remaining original member of the band which began in 1963.
- Check out our page on their song Goodbye Miss Durkin.
THE HOT TAKES
Honestly, is there a human alive that can dislike music like this? This is a fun tale that also contains some material worth consideration. The parents of our subject here are constantly fighting to pull him into their culture, religion, and so forth. So is he orange, or is he green? It seems the confusion lasts a lifetime. What a foolish game, right? Humans are humans. We determine our own course in this life. Our genetics give us but a starting point. Our attitude determines the rest. I know there are those out there who would disagree, but that is how I see things. There's also a little dig there at the end: "My learning was all done at home, that's why I'm such a fool!" It might be a purely anti-homeschooling, but it also might be referring to the poor quality of education such a chaotic upbringing would surely yield. Now, if you'll excuse me. I need to resist the urge to go on a Irish, Scottish, and Celtic music kick.
I love The Irish Rovers, and the celtic music that became bluegrass in my homeland. This song in particular is about one of the most tragic aspects of humanity: the divisions that we allow ourselves to kill one another over. While religion can be very good for giving people direction, and is a central commonality that people can form communities around, tribalism can creep in and make the focus not on finding community, but on finding fault with outside people and groups. When this tribalism is mixed with The State like in Northern Ireland, bloodshed is almost inevitable. This of course can be easily recognizable because of the differences in groups, or much more difficult to spot because of in group divisions that may not be easily apparent. Of course, all of the participants of the battles in the song were Christian, but different flavors. This is one reason why the broad acceptance of the libertarian principle of non-aggression would be a benefit to society. Cultural acceptance that the only ethical use of violence is in defense would curtail a lot of problems that can otherwise lead to bloodshed.
The interesting point I see in this song begins quite early. Everything was great and fine until the narrator arrived on the scene. Huge cultural issues were completely irrelevant until someone arrives to be advocated for. I find this to be the main conundrum we face with normies. It’s that neocon impulse that keeps us in perpetual war. Some people need protected so we must help them. This particular article was written shortly after a big dust-up within the Libertarian Party surrounding what we can do to help libertarians in Venezuela. While I hate to imagine any libertarians under the boot of authority, I don’t feel as though I know enough to involve myself in other people’s war. I want to help but more dead at my hand hardly seems like help. So I reiterate a principled non-intervention stance is difficult to stand up with when it feels like you’re ignoring those who need help but the majority of human history shows us what little good can come from statist help.