by Frank Schnittger
Thu May 20th, 2010 at 09:13:23 PM EST
County Tyrone singer-songwriter Paul Brady is in the Irish singer song writer tradition of The Cranberries, Van Morrison, Sinéad O'Connor and U2 writing anti-war or social protest songs and recorded "The Island" for his 1986 album, "Back to the Centre." It always seemed to me that The Island got to the heart of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
Lyrics and a cover version below...
They say the skies of Lebanon are burning
Those mighty cedars bleeding in the heat
They're showing pictures on the television
Women and children dying in the street
And we're still at it in our own place
Still trying to reach the future through the past
Still trying to carve tomorrow from a tombstone...
But Hey! Don't listen to me!
This wasn't meant to be no sad song
We've heard too much of that before
Right now I only want to be here with you
Till the morning dew comes falling
I want to take you to the island
And trace your footprints in the sand
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We'll make love to the sound of the ocean
They're raising banners over by the markets
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown
No way our holy flag is gonna fall
Up here we sacrifice our children
To feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday
And teach them dying will lead us into glory...
Now I know us plain folks don't see all the story
And I know this peace and love's just copping out
And I guess these young boys dying in the ditches
Is just what being free is all about
And how this twisted wreckage down on main street
Will bring us all together in the end
And we'll go marching down the road to freedom...
Cover by Dolores Keane