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The Patriot Game

  • (Trad / Dominic Behan)

    Come all you young rebels and list while I sing
    For love of one's land is a terrible thing   
    It banishes fear with the speed of a flame   
    And makes us all part of the patriot game   

    My name is O'Hanlon, I'm just gone sixteen
    My home is in Monaghan, there I was weaned
    I was taught all my life cruel England to blame   
    And so I'm a part of the patriot game      

    'Tis barely two years since I wandered away
    With the local battalion of the bold I.R.A.
    I read of our heroes and wanted the same
    To play up my part in the patriot game

    They told me how Connolly was shot in a chair   
    His wounds from the battle all bleeding and bare
    His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
    They soon made me part of the patriot game

    This island of mine has for long been half free   
    Six counties are under John Bull's monarchy   
    And still De Valera is greatly to blame      
    For shirking his part in the patriot game   

    I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police      
    They're lackeys for war - never guardians of peace
    But yet at deserters I never let aim      
    Those rebels who sold out the patriot game   

    And now as I lie with my body all holes      
    I think of those traitors who bargained and sold
    I'm sorry my rifle has not done the same
    For the quislings who sold out the patriot game

    Tune: ad. from The Grenadier and the Lady

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • english  [1965:] Like Sean South, Feargal O'Hanlon, aged 17, from Ballybay, Co. Monaghan, a draughtsman with Monaghan Co. Council, was killed in action during the New Year's Night Brookeborough R.U.C. Barracks attack [on 31 December] 1957. The song is one of the best and certainly the hardest hitting to come out of Ireland since the Civil War. (Paddy Tunney, notes Dominic Behan, 'Easter Week and After')

  • english  [1973:] As a [Rhine Army folk] club organiser I find that there is an increasing tendency for other folk club organisers to censure floor-singers for singing certain songs. [...] I speak of one song in particular - The Patriot Game - [...]. That was in the days of man to man fighting, and in no way connected with today's troubles. Maybe certain words in the song prick the conscience, when we learn that a man named Connolly was taken out, on a chair - because loss of blood through still open gunshot wounds made it impossible for him to stand - and then he was executed. Executed by men taken from Peterhead, Brixton and Dartmoor and put into British Army uniforms to keep the "natives at bay". [???Not till 1920!] Does this prick the conscience? Maybe it's the fact that we don't like Dominic Behan. But, if we are going to crucify him, why not go the whole hog and ban every other beautiful song penned by him. (Mick McGilloway, Forces Folk 11/73)

  • german  [1977:] Der ganze Wahnsinn irischer Selbstzerfleischung im Kampfe um die Unabhängigkeit von England spricht aus den Worten dieses Freiheitsliedes. Es gehört neben dem Foggy Dew und dem Rising of the Moon zu den bekanntesten Gesängen der Rebellen. (Hein & Oss Kröher 407)

  • english  [1986:] Following a Robin Denselow review of the Bob Dylan 'Biograph' set in which he mentioned the Zim's loathing of bootlegs, Dominic Behan arose from the woodwork to claim that Dylan's God On Our Side "takes music lock stock and barrel and very nearly the words" from Behan's 1957 song [The Patriot Game]. "A complete parody", said Behan, "[...] some of the artists would like to be paid for their art." Quick as a flash, Michael Grosvenor Myer jumped in to point out that Behan could hardly claim rights since it used "a traditional tune usually associated with a version of The Grenadier And The Lady."

    Behan returned to claim that the tune was only "of course suggested by The Nightingale, Paddington Green or The Grenadier And The Lady. It is, however, an original tune. As original as any of Ewan MacColl's tunes, whether they were suggested by Musselborough Fair or The Bleacher Lassie O' Kelvinhaugh", to be joined by Geoff Wood saying "... to accuse Bob Dylan of plagiarising his song The Patriot Game strikes me as a prime example of the pot calling the kettle grimy arse, as we say in Yorkshire. Dominic knows as well as I do that both he and Bob used the tune of a much older song The Shores of Lough Erne. If anyone doubts this let them go along to the folk music club at the 'Marquis of Clanricarde' not far from Paddington Station and ask Packie Byrne - who first heard the song before either Behan or Dylan were born - to sing it." The next riposte came from Roy Kelly, who later noted "It's interesting that Dominic Behan's appropriation of a traditional tune places him in the folk process, whereas Bob Dylan becomes a mere plagiarist. [Dylan's] result is, at the least, a more ambitious work, and I think a better one. Are none of the people who booed Dylan's electric concerts around any more? And what of the famous, albeit anonymous 'Judas' shouter? Dominic, was it you all the time?" ('The Guardian', quoted in Folk Roots No 33)

  • english  [1989:] One of the best songs of 1959 had been The Patriot Game, written by Dominic Behan, the singer, writer and talker best known as Brendan Behan's younger brother. The song commemorated the deaths two years earlier of two men killed in an IRA attack on Dungannon barracks, and was a subtle piece about bravery, treachery, and 'patriotism being the last refuge of the scoundrel'. The words and music were adapted from traditional airs, and Bob Dylan felt at liberty to do the same when he wrote the remarkably similar God On Our Side. Behan complained later that Dylan's song was 'a complete parody' of his work. (Denselow, Music 158)

  • english  [1989:] And P. J.'s anti-chauvinism. His mockery of what he liked to call the 'Patriot Game'. At the same time he went around claiming every important person in the world as Irish. (Dominic Behan, The Public World of Parable Jones 53)

  • german  [1992:] Die Aufnahmen [zu Dylans 'The Royal Albert Hall Concert 1966'] wurden allerdings nicht in Londons Royal Albert Hall gemacht (obwohl heute Tausende von Leuten Stein und Bein schwören, daß sie dort gewesen wären und mit eigenen Ohren gehört hätten, wie ein wütender Fan "Judas!" schrie, genau wie man es auf dem Bootleg vernehmen kann), sondern in Manchester. (Greil Marcus, Mystery Train 256)

  • english  [1999:] John Bull, originally a satirical character, a boozy, choleric cloth-dealer, was first drawn as a bull, or a man with a bull's head, sporting horns and a thick mass of hair. John Bull was walking, talking beef; and yet to be English, his supporter, was to eat him, to be a passionate devourer of beefsteaks. [...] Beef, in short, is not only a food but a symbol of many of the most persistent conservative English beliefs about themselves; that they are a people of dogged, Anglo-Saxon simplicity, hard-working, slow to anger but, when roused, terrible in their determination. (Andrew Marr, Observer, 31 Oct)

  • english [2001:] Dominic [Behan] had a thing about Dylan's "borrowing" of traditional tunes and themes: when Bob performed With God on Our Side on TV, he was on the phone to me in a trice. "That bastard has stolen my song," he spluttered. In vain did I point out that the tune was basically The Nightingale, as sung by Burl Ives (though I didn't dare remark that this was obviously the source also for the tune of Dominic's The Patriot Game). Interestingly, when Burl came to Britain and I met him from the airport, Dominic was the one British singer he wanted to meet. (Karl Dallas, Living Tradition 43, p 16f.)

Quelle: Ireland

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