The melody is over one hundred years old. Originally called The Peeler and the Goat. It was a satirical piece about a policeman arresting a goat for obstructing the road – sounds lighthearted, but you could go to jail for singing it! Treasonous stuff.
I learned it as the Recruiting Sergeant – the wonderful version by Dominic Behan which spoke about a young lad hanging around the street while a recruiting sergeant is trying to sign him up and send him of to Flanders to fight in WWI. The young lad is having none of it – “I looked at a cailin passin by, says I, “what if it’s snowin’ O””. Class.
I loved the melody and wanted to make it relevant to modern Ireland. I began it a few years back. I wrote four verses (the first three are still the first three) – but i wasn’t happy with the last one, and I knew it wasn’t finished. So I played it and played it. And waited. Then Irish Water happened. Enough said.
The final product talks about the Easter Rising Centenary and what it means to modern Ireland. It deals with our outdated abortion laws and the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. The bank bailouts. Irish Water and the upcoming elections.
I am under no illusions. This song won’t change anything. But I hope it is a soundtrack for the person and the people that do.
Massive thanks to Al, Felix, Mark and Naz for their work on the video. – serious team effort!