Sunday, March 17, 2013

Two Hemispheres' Worth of Diaspora Songs

Well, the party was yesterday, but there was time to cook a traditional New York dinner of corned beef and cabbage this Solemn Feast of St Patrick. The upstairs neighbors, immigrants from Monaghan ordered a pizza for lunch. Pizza, like corned beef and cabbage, is a traditional New York dinner. Anyway, I figured I'd post a couple of "diaspora" songs tonight, one from across the Irish Sea and one from across the planet.

Here's Irish Blood English Heart by the guy who I thought would be elected pope, a call from Moz for the English people to disavow the poisonous legacy of Oliver Cromwell and to throw off the yokes of the political parties who have failed them and the royals who sponge off of them:

The second song, Wild Colonial Boy, details the exploits and eventual capture of an Australian bushranger (as an aside, Ned Kelly was the most famous of the bushrangers, and Mick Jagger, of all people, sang a version of Wild Colonial Boy, in a 1970 film about Ned Kelly and, perhaps even odder, the American band Dr Hook performed a version of it as well):

The choruses of the two songs are similar thematically. In Irish Blood English Heart, Moz sings:

Irish blood, English heart, this I'm made of
There is no-one on earth I'm afraid of
And I will die with both my hands untied

The antipodean balladeer sings:

Come along my hearties, We'll roam the mountains high,
Together we will plunder, Together we will ride.
We'll scar over valleys, And gallop for the plains,
And scorn to live in slavery, bound down by iron chains.

I wonder how Morrissey would have fared as a bushranger... I imagine his pompadour would have provided decent cushioning from the iron bucket he would have worn on his head.