Henry's Songbook

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Joe McCann

  • (Eamon O'Doherty)

    Come all of you fine people wherever you may be
    I'll sing of a brave Belfast man
    Who scorned the army's might though they'd shoot him on sight
    And they shot down Joe McCann
    Joe McCann
    They shot down Joe McCann

    In a Belfast bakery in the August of that year
    When internment was imposed throughout the land
    Six volunteers from Belfast held six hundred troops at bay
    Their leader was Joe McCann

    He fought for the people in the markets where he worked
    In defence of the rights of man
    But the hired branch crew told the soldiers what to do
    And they shot down Joe McCann

    He carried no gun so he started to run
    To escape them as many's the time before
    One bullet brought him down and as he lay on the ground
    They shot him ten times more

    His cause was the freedom of the people of this land
    The Protestant and the Catholic working man
    He caused the bosses to fear, for this they paid him dear
    When they murdered brave Joe McCann

    (as sung by Christy Moore)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1975:] [Northern Ireland Secretary William Whitelaw] said he was insisting on the soldiers reducing their patrolling, though [the G.O.C., General Sir Harry] Tuzo wanted to increase it as more soldiers had been killed and wounded in recent days than ever before. This, Whitelaw pointed out, was due to the killing of McCann, who had indeed been killed off by the troops when lying wounded on the ground. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, April 29th, 1972)

  • [1978:] Joe McCann was shot dead by British Paratroops in April 1972. He was alone and unarmed. He had worked tirelessly to politicize Protestants and Catholics and to unite them in their recognition of the common oppressors, imperialism and class. His killing was seen by many as a calculated move to remove the leadership of the Official Republican Movement, viewing their politics as potentially more dangerous to the establishment than the more violent Provisional IRA. (Eamon O'Doherty, Derry)

  • [1984:] This was a constant number in my repertoire until I sang it one night in Ballymurphy. [???] (Christy Moore Songbook 68)

Tune: Willie More
Quelle: Ireland

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