Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This is a song dealing with the period of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads took power in 1649. They were Puritans and overthrew the monarch King Charles I. They beheaded him and reigned over a repressive regime. Queen Elizabeth I had transplanted Scots to the northern part of Ireland in the late 16th century in an attempt to make them loyal to the England.

Upon assuming power, Cromwell embarked on a harsh oppression of the Irish in those areas in an effort to subdue them. He disliked the Catholic Church and after the Irish Rebellion of 1641 sought to put the Irish under control. His occupation was harsh and brutal and is resented by the Irish to this day.

The monarchy was restored in 1660 with Charles I's son, Charles II on the throne. He immediately embarked on what was called the Restoration Period and continued to colonize the new world.

I love cultural history that explains the conflicts of today in terms of their origins and gives a peek into the feelings of those cultures involved. The enmity between the British and Irish is deep in the past and a cursory reading gives you an idea of the intensity of their ancient disharmony. This song captures the historic enmity of the Irish for the British.

An historical break from the election. History today is what our grandchildren will read. We saw it with our own eyes.

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