THE NORTHERN IRELAND CONFLICT IN SONGS There are 3 different reasons for violence in Northern Ireland: The religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants.
The national conflict between the Irish and the British.
The social conflict between the poor and the rich [class conflict].
Groups tell their wishes and opinions in their songs: They describe their feelings, like hatred, hostility, pride.
They glorify their heroes.
They express what isn't told in statements or speeches.
The songs of Protestants The songs have a link to the history of the 17th and 18th century.
They explain the historical events from their point of view.
Orange Order The Orange Order is the biggest nationalist group of the Protestants, founded in 1795. After a rebellion of Catholics, which was put down, the Protestants built up Orange Lodges in which men came together to protect themselves against Catholic attacks. The name comes from the King William of Orange.
Apprentice Boys of Derry This is another important Protestant group.
They are very popular in and around Londonderry.
They were founded after the apprentice boys saved the Protestants in Londonderry during a siege of the town.
Religions in Ireland In Northern Ireland live 1,5 million people, 1 million of them are Protestants. So there are half a million Catholics.
Since the autonomy of 1921 the Catholics are suppressed. Protestants ruled alone until 1972 in the parliament.
Thus Catholics are afraid of and hate Protestants. But Protestants also hate and are afraid of Catholics. The reason for that is: If there were a "United State of Ireland"Ã¯Â¿Â½, the Protestants would be a minority with 25 % of the population.
Irish Civil Rights Movement 1668 / 1969 The first real big demonstration for civil rights took place in October 1968 and was planned by a group called People's Democracy and which was joined of People from all groups of the population.
This demonstration ended in violence because the demonstrators were attacked by the northern Irish police forces and British soldiers. This demonstration became very famous.
It is described in the song "5th of October"Ã¯Â¿Â½.
1st "" 4th January 1969 The Long March The government and the police lost control over the emotions of hate of the people that was shown during demonstrations on both sides.
People's Democracy organised "The Long March"Ã¯Â¿Â½ from Belfast to Londonderry.
The song is a document on this march and what happened.
We Shall Not Be Moved This song describes the aims of the civil rights movement. At the same time it has become very popular with the friends and members of the IRA, the terrorist group which supports the Catholics.
[Song We Shall Not Be Moved] 1. One man "" one vote! 2. End of the "anti special powers"Ã¯Â¿Â½ 3. No discrimination! (work, housing, schools) 4. Ireland back to the Irish! Now there is still one question left: Will there be an end to the conflict? The civil rights movement was influenced by the American struggles for civil rights. Thus the world wide known peace song "We shall overcome"Ã¯Â¿Â½ also became very popular in the Irish Peace movement.
Can there be peace after the long history of the conflict and the last 30 years of violence, riots, bomb attacks, assassinations and murders on both sides? There is the Irish shouting: For every dead Irish "" a dead English soldier! And everything will go on.