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"Give Ireland Back to the Irish"

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Last post 14/09/2018

Posted by Bruce M.

      Original post

      I read recently that Paul's "protest song" called "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" which to me sounds rousing, very stirring and heartfelt and pleasing musically, was not a hit at all in its day. I wonder why not. Was the I.R.A. especially active at that time with the bombings and shootings and such? In England as well as Ireland?  And the ditty was considered  too controversial and incendiary? And then Paul Mc. released "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as a sullen subtle rebuke to his song "Ireland"'s critics who wished to censor it? 

        SusyLuvsPaul wrote:

        I read recently that Paul's "protest song" called "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" which to me sounds rousing, very stirring and heartfelt and pleasing musically, was not a hit at all in its day. I wonder why not. And then Paul Mc. released "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as a sullen subtle rebuke to his song "Ireland"'s critics who wished to censor it? 

        The BBC banned the single so the lack of airplay didn't help sales. I think it still made the top 20 though, #16 I believe so it was a moderate hit I guess.  Paul has always consistantly denied that releasing 'Mary...' was a direct reaction to the banning of his previous single, and that it was just the next single he wanted to release.

          It’s also ironic to think about all those people who keep saying that Lennon was the political one - but it was actually McCartney who got a political protest song banned

            While I know "protest songs"have never been Paul's "sweet spot", I have always liked "Give Ireland Back to the Irish".  I think it was a great rocker.  From the same time era (but not protest songs) came other rockers like "The Mess" and "Soily".  The former was never on an album (it was a B-side) and the latter never was on an album until the "Wings Over America" was released in 1976 I believe.  "Give Ireland Back to the Irish was, as mentioned, a banned Single and it never has appeared on a proper album or even a compilation set.

            Paul has so many good to great songs that were never on his proper albums but relegated to either B-sides or  just are officially unreleased songs.  That is why I have been putting compilation lists together "BY DECADE"of these "Lost and Forgotten" songs.

             I have been detailing potential songs for each decade (starting with 1970) in the "TAKE IT AWAY" Thread on this Site.  It is on this "Not Such A Bad Boy" topic entitled "Take It Away".  This thread has been detailing all the Post Beatles' Paul McCartney songs in a series of Podcasts.  As the Podcasts have been completing a decade, I have been putting a 2 CD compilation Package together as the Podcast completes each decade.  I have also added tracks that are either  rare "Live" versions or "rehearsal"  tracks from many of Paul's Post Beatles' Albums.  The aim is that between the unreleased, B-sides, and Rare live versions, you don't get duplications of songs already on the original album or already on Greatest Hits Packages like Wingspan.  For those interested in Paul's Solo career, I would especially recommend the "Take It Away" Podcasts.  The moderators, Chris and Ryan are very good.    You would be amazed at Paul's rare stuff and how many songs there really are.

            As a big time Macca fan (Beatles, Wings and Solo) I was really disappointed over Paul's last Compilation Package called Pure McCartney.  Even the 4 CD package duplicated so many songs already on earlier Paul albums or on greatest hits packages.  They also just skipped entire sections of Paul's full career.  That is why the true fans would crave a package featuring so many good unreleased tracks, B-sides and rare "live" versions in one compilation.

             

              That's right..."Pure McCartney" could have been so much greater with an approach like yours, B.J. And it's true "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" is really rousing, gets the blood going if you've got some Irish in you especially--it's sung with so much spirit and power that I wondered why Macca had his farm in Scotland instead of Ireland. Was he avoiding the I.R.A. terrorism. 

              You probably have "Cold Cuts," BJ ? Even that could have included so much more. When I first heard a bunch of the B sides, rareties and never recorded on albums stuff, it was such a revelation, like the heavens opening; all that previously undiscovered Macca music which features quite a few gems and could-be famous classics like a vast musical treasure chest to be plundered endlessly and enjoyed. It proved a respite of sorts from all the much heard hits...not that "respite" is the right word; but there was so much that's "new" even while being old. 

                B J Conlee wrote:

                While I know "protest songs"have never been Paul's "sweet spot", I have always liked "Give Ireland Back to the Irish".  I think it was a great rocker.  From the same time era (but not protest songs) came other rockers like "The Mess" and "Soily".  The former was never on an album (it was a B-side) and the latter never was on an album until the "Wings Over America" was released in 1976 I believe.  "Give Ireland Back to the Irish was, as mentioned, a banned Single and it never has appeared on a proper album or even a compilation set.

                Paul has so many good to great songs that were never on his proper albums but relegated to either B-sides or  just are officially unreleased songs.  That is why I have been putting compilation lists together "BY DECADE"of these "Lost and Forgotten" songs.

                 I have been detailing potential songs for each decade (starting with 1970) in the "TAKE IT AWAY" Thread on this Site.  It is on this "Not Such A Bad Boy" topic entitled "Take It Away".  This thread has been detailing all the Post Beatles' Paul McCartney songs in a series of Podcasts.  As the Podcasts have been completing a decade, I have been putting a 2 CD compilation Package together as the Podcast completes each decade.  I have also added tracks that are either  rare "Live" versions or "rehearsal"  tracks from many of Paul's Post Beatles' Albums.  The aim is that between the unreleased, B-sides, and Rare live versions, you don't get duplications of songs already on the original album or already on Greatest Hits Packages like Wingspan.  For those interested in Paul's Solo career, I would especially recommend the "Take It Away" Podcasts.  The moderators, Chris and Ryan are very good.    You would be amazed at Paul's rare stuff and how many songs there really are.

                As a big time Macca fan (Beatles, Wings and Solo) I was really disappointed over Paul's last Compilation Package called Pure McCartney.  Even the 4 CD package duplicated so many songs already on earlier Paul albums or on greatest hits packages.  They also just skipped entire sections of Paul's full career.  That is why the true fans would crave a package featuring so many good unreleased tracks, B-sides and rare "live" versions in one compilation.

                 

                Your compilation project from all the decades sounds awesome and like Paul himself should hire you to be on his team ! Working on it ! And finally deliver ALL the goods and goodies that Pure McCartney didn't. The "Take It Away" podcast guys should really appreciate you and your work. "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" absolutely ought to be on something proper and official for posterity, and to add to his legend. He shouldn't be afraid of that controversial protest song. Well, easy for me to say, I'm not from the U.K. 

                I didn't mean to disparage his Scotland farm; it looks gorgeous there and quite a change from the vast ancient metropolis of London. They were so near the ocean.

                  Kestrel wrote:

                  SusyLuvsPaul wrote:

                  I read recently that Paul's "protest song" called "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" which to me sounds rousing, very stirring and heartfelt and pleasing musically, was not a hit at all in its day. I wonder why not. And then Paul Mc. released "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as a sullen subtle rebuke to his song "Ireland"'s critics who wished to censor it? 

                  The BBC banned the single so the lack of airplay didn't help sales. ...

                  Not just the BBC - the independent televsion and radio stations across the UK also banned it.

                    SusyLuvsPaul wrote:

                    That's right..."Pure McCartney" could have been so much greater with an approach like yours, B.J. And it's true "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" is really rousing, gets the blood going if you've got some Irish in you especially--it's sung with so much spirit and power that I wondered why Macca had his farm in Scotland instead of Ireland. Was he avoiding the I.R.A. terrorism. 

                    You probably have "Cold Cuts," BJ ? Even that could have included so much more. When I first heard a bunch of the B sides, rareties and never recorded on albums stuff, it was such a revelation, like the heavens opening; all that previously undiscovered Macca music which features quite a few gems and could-be famous classics like a vast musical treasure chest to be plundered endlessly and enjoyed. It proved a respite of sorts from all the much heard hits...not that "respite" is the right word; but there was so much that's "new" even while being old. 

                    Yes, I've heard Cold Cuts but think about what Paul has in his faults.  The quality of the recordings would probably be much better.  Each decade Paul has an abundance of material for a 2 CD set.  He initially could do a Volume 1, 5 CD Set (one for each decade starting with the 70's) .  Then he could follow up a year later with a Volume 2 (again one CD for each decade).

                    Just looking at the 90's decade and the Off the Ground sessions, Paul actually came out with a 2 CD of songs (for Japan I believe) that didn't make the proper OTG album cut.  Many of these songs are as good or better than the original Off the Ground tracks.  Those songs are "finished" songs and would be prime candidates for a "Lost and Forgotten" 90's Compilation Disc.  Anyway, hope Paul comes out with a Compilation Package like this for the "real" fans like us.  

                      B J Conlee wrote:

                      SusyLuvsPaul wrote:

                      That's right..."Pure McCartney" could have been so much greater with an approach like yours, B.J. And it's true "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" is really rousing, gets the blood going if you've got some Irish in you especially--it's sung with so much spirit and power that I wondered why Macca had his farm in Scotland instead of Ireland. Was he avoiding the I.R.A. terrorism. 

                      You probably have "Cold Cuts," BJ ? Even that could have included so much more. When I first heard a bunch of the B sides, rareties and never recorded on albums stuff, it was such a revelation, like the heavens opening; all that previously undiscovered Macca music which features quite a few gems and could-be famous classics like a vast musical treasure chest to be plundered endlessly and enjoyed. It proved a respite of sorts from all the much heard hits...not that "respite" is the right word; but there was so much that's "new" even while being old. 

                      Yes, I've heard Cold Cuts but think about what Paul has in his faults.  The quality of the recordings would probably be much better.  Each decade Paul has an abundance of material for a 2 CD set.  He initially could do a Volume 1, 5 CD Set (one for each decade starting with the 70's) .  Then he could follow up a year later with a Volume 2 (again one CD for each decade).

                      Just looking at the 90's decade and the Off the Ground sessions, Paul actually came out with a 2 CD of songs (for Japan I believe) that didn't make the proper OTG album cut.  Many of these songs are as good or better than the original Off the Ground tracks.  Those songs are "finished" songs and would be prime candidates for a "Lost and Forgotten" 90's Compilation Disc.  Anyway, hope Paul comes out with a Compilation Package like this for the "real" fans like us.  

                      Check out the link in my sig below. Paul has over 300 unreleased songs, rude jams, demos, etc... it would be a massive project to get these out but I hope he does or someone does after he's gone. The world needs more McCartney music.

                        Clickable link:

                        https://mccartneyrecordingsessions.000webhostapp.com/

                          johnnymain wrote:

                          Not just the BBC - the independent televsion and radio stations across the UK also banned it.

                          Judging by the advert Wings soon capitalised on the blanket banning. 

                            I have to say that I've always preferred the instrumental (version) b-side. It features some lovely guitar work from Henry McCullough and nice bass playing by Paul which is placed suitably high in the mix.

                             

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzpc3G5_Bv0&ab_channel=yourtwistedable

                              It wasn't banned in the U.S. but didn't do that well, making no. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. To me it's not close to top-tier Paul. Kinda clunky and awkward. Paul's just not usually that great at this sort of thing.