Friday, July 12, 2019

Quickies: “Remember the Boyne” – ?

     Being of Irish descent, I was at one time frequently asked by acquaintances about what the Irish call “the troubles:” the unending, savagely bloody pseudo-war between such organizations as the Irish Republican Army and the Ulster Defence League. Both are regarded with loathing by decent Irishmen, who want only peace and safety for their families. That doesn’t seem to have dampened either group’s ardor for slaughter.

     My Irish progenitors left their homeland to escape the violence, which had come close to claiming their lives. I’m sure they weren’t the only children of the Emerald Isle to flee to America for that reason. What better reason to emigrate than in search of peace and safety?

     Hearken to the late Stan Rogers, Canada’s finest songwriter and singer:

I took back my hand and I showed him the door.
No dollar of mine would I part with this day
For fueling the engines of a bloody cruel war
In my forefathers’ land far away.

Who fled the first Famine wearing all that they owned,
Were called Navigators, all ragged and torn,
And built the Grand Trunk here, and found a new home
Wherever their children were born.

Their sons have no politics. None call recall
Allegiance from long generations before.
O'this or O'that name just can't mean a thing,
Or be cause enough for to war.

And meanwhile my babies are safe in their home,
Unlike their pale cousins who shiver and cry,
While kneecappers nail their poor Dads to the floor,
And teach them to hate and to die.

It's those cruel beggars who spurn the fair coin.
The peace for their kids they could take at their will.
Since the day old King Billy prevailed at the Boyne,
They've bombed and they've maimed and they've killed.

Now they cry out for money and wail at the door,
But Home Rule or Republic, 'tis all of it shame;
And a curse for us here who want nothing of war.
We're kindred in nothing but name.

All rights and all wrongs have long since blown away,
For causes are ashes where children lie slain.
Yet the damned UDL and the cruel IRA
Will tomorrow go murdering again.

But no penny of mine will I add to the fray.
"Remember the Boyne!" they will cry out in vain,
For I've given my heart to the place I was born,
And forgiven the whole House of Orange...
King Billy and the whole House of Orange.

     May God forever guard and guide these United States of America.

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