Recently, a poll was launched by RTE, the broadcaster for the Irish Free State, to find the ‘nation’s’ favourite folk song. Rebel Voice is unsure if the 1.8 million Irish people in the Occupied Six Counties (OSC) are considered part of the ‘nation’ by the Blueshirts who command RTE as insidious moves are underway to try to separate the OSC from the rest of Ireland in the minds of the southern populace. However, everyone was able to vote online for their favourite. The final list is as follows:
A Rainy Night in Soho
A Woman’s Heart
Óró, Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile
On Raglan Road
Rocky Road to Dublin
The Foggy Dew
The Green Fields of France (Willie McBride)
The Parting Glass
The Town I Loved So Well
This is a fine line-up but does miss a number of obvious classics such as Dirty Old Town, Joe McDonnell, Back Home In Derry, Ride On, The Rare Old Mountain Dew and, of course, Whiskey in the Jar (how could they have missed the last one?). Performers were invited to provide alternate renderings of each and, although most were strong, some were a tad awful. It all formed part of a TV series that informed the viewers of the history of each song. Perhaps that’s why Foggy Dew is the only rebel song to make the list. After all, an explanation of what happened to Bobby Sands, author of Back Home In Derry, might not have suited the Free State suits. Then again, Rebel Voice can be a touch cynical when it comes to Free Stateism.
The following is a fine version of The Pogues classic, Rainy Night in Soho. Great to hear an Irish accent in the songs as opposed to the fake transatlantic one employed by too many Irish performers in which they try to present themselves as being from Nashville. The decision as to which is Ireland’s favourite folk song will be revealed tonight on The Late Late Show on RTE. If you can overlook the presenter, Cryin’ Turdbelly, then you might even enjoy it.
Here is another of the alternate versions of a classic song, this time it’s The Foggy Dew: