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Encyclopedia > The Patriot Game

"The Patriot Game" is an Irish ballad that critically examines the posture of the IRA during the 1950s. The song is set in the period following World War II when the IRA launched a new campaign to bring about the unification of Northern Ireland (which is part of the United Kingdom) with the Republic of Ireland into an independent united Ireland. It was written by Dominic Behan (younger brother of playwright Brendan Behan), the tune adapted from an earlier folksong,"The Merry Month Of May". The song tells the story of Fergal O'Hanlon, an IRA Volunteer from County Monaghan who achieved minor fame for taking part in an attack on Brookeborough Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks, in County Fermanagh on 1st January 1957. O'Hanlan was killed in the attack at the age of 20. This incident took place during The IRA's 1950s "Border Campaign"(1956 - 1962) which resulted in complete failure. The attack was devised and led by Sean Garland, an IRA man from County Dublin - another volunteer, Seán South, from Limerick was also killed during the raid. Illustration by Arthur Rackham of the ballad The Twa Corbies A ballad is a story, usually a narrative or poem, in a song. ... Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921, the Irish Republican Army in the 26 counties that were to become the Irish Free State split between supporters and opponents of the Treaty. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The Border Campaign (December 12, 1956 - February 26, 1962) was an operation (codenamed Operation Harvest) carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) against targets in Northern Ireland. ... Anthem: UK: God Save the Queen Regional: (de facto) Londonderry Air Capital Belfast Largest city Belfast Official languages English (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots 3, BSL, NISL, ISL Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Ian Paisley  - Deputy First Minister... Dominic Behan (22nd October, 1928 - 3August, 1989) was an Irish songwriter, short story writer, novelist and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English. ... Template:Unsourced A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is someone who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Brendan Francis Behan (Irish: Breandán Ó Beacháin) (February 9, 1923 - March 20, 1964) was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English. ... Fergal OHanlon (1939 – 1 January 1957) was a member of the Irish Republican Army from County Monaghan, Republic of Ireland. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Statistics Province: Ulster County Town: Monaghan Code: MN Area: 1,294 km² Population (2006) 55,816 Website: www. ... Brookeborough is a village in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. ... The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2001. ... Statistics Province: Ulster County Town: Enniskillen Area: 1,691 km² Population (est. ... Seán Garland (7 March 1934-) is president of the Workers Party of Ireland. ... Statistics Province: Leinster County Town: Dublin Code: D Area: 921 km² Population (2006) 1,186,821 County Dublin (Irish: Contae Bhaile Átha Cliath), or more correctly today the Dublin Region[1] (Réigiúin Átha Cliath), is the area that contains the city of Dublin, the capital and largest city... Sean South was an IRA terrorist fatally wounded whilst leading an attempt to storm a police station in Brookeborough, Northern Ireland in the small hours of New Years day 1957. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 52. ...


The song is perhaps one of the most famous to emerge from the Irish nationalist struggle, and is immensely popular amongst the IRA, as well as other groups. The Patriot Game has been recorded by numerous artists, including the Kingston Trio, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, and The Clancy Brothers. Dylan allegedly also used the tune, when writing his song; "With God On Our Side". Behan called Dylan a plagiarist and a thief, by claiming the melody as an original composition, in an attempt to goad him into a lawsuit. Behan's argument has some merit, especially when one compares the structure of the songs' lyrics; it becomes clear that Dylan lifted the structure of Behan's song to make the song relevant to the America of the Vietnam war era; Dylan's refusal to credit Behan's work (particularly the lyrical structure) was the main issue at stake and in response Behan took the view that the provenance of Dylan's entire body of work must be questioned. Behan also took issue with the Clancy Brothers, who chose not to sing the verse that was critical of Éamon de Valera : The Seán Hogan Flying column during the War of Independence. ... The Kingston Trio is an American folk group, perhaps the single most prominent one. ... Judy Collins Judith Marjorie Collins (born May 1, 1939 in Seattle, Washington) is an American folk and standards singer. ... Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941), is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, and poet who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. ... The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem from left to right: Tom, Pat, Liam, and Tommy Makem The Clancy Brothers were an Irish folk music singing group, most popular in the 1960s, who are often credited with popularizing Irish traditional music in the United States, and being the campest folk group... With God On Our Side is a song by Bob Dylan, released as the third track on his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin. Dylan first performed the song during his debut appearance at The Town Hall in New York City on April 12, 1963. ... Éamon de Valera (born with the name Edward George de Valera,IPA: [1][2]) (14 October 1882 – 29 August 1975) was one of the dominant political figures in 20th century Ireland. ...

This Ireland of mine has for long been half free,
Six counties are under John Bull's tyranny.
And still de Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the patriot game.

However, in the Clancy Brother's recording of "The Patriot Game" on a Sony record containing a compilation of folk music, they did sing the verse about Valera. Behan's contempt of the Clancy Brothers was exacerbated by what he saw as their political shallowness which tended to render the traditional message of the Irish ballad somewhat less powerful in their hands.


Behan later became close friends with Sean Garland (leader of the raid), officiating as the best man at Garland's wedding. Garland gave the eulogy at Behan's funeral in 1989. Seán Garland (7 March 1934-) is president of the Workers Party of Ireland. ...


Popular Culture

The song title was later used by Tom Clancy as the title of his novel, Patriot Games. Although the lyrics of the song romanticise the nationalist struggle and the actions of the IRA, they can also be read as a sly warning of the dangers of blind patriotism ("the love of one's country is a terrible thing", and "I learned all my life cruel England's to blame, So now I am part of the patriot game."). Anti-nationalist and anarchist groups have adopted this interpretation of the song, which, it may be argued, subverts its original intention. In 1992 a movie was made after Clancy's book, called Patriot Games, starring Harrison Ford and Anne Archer, with Phillip Noyce directing. Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. ... Patriot Games (1987) is a book by Tom Clancy. ... Anti-nationalism is the idea that nationalism is dangerous in one form or another, and sometimes, though less often, the idea that all nationalism is dangerous and unfavourable in all cases. ... Anarchism is a generic term describing various political philosophies and social movements that advocate the elimination of hierarchy and imposed authority. ... Look up subversion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Patriot Games is a film based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy. ... Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American actor. ... Anne Archer Anne Archer (born August 24, 1947) is an Academy Award nominated American movie and TV actress. ... Phillip Noyce (born on 29 April 1950 in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian film director. ...


The song featured heavily in Martin McDonagh's play The Lieutenant of Inishmore, where it may be considered a comment on the character's misunderstanding of IRA splinter groups. Martin McDonagh (born 26 March 1970) is a contemporary Irish playwright. ...


External links

  • Informational site including audio clips and parody
  • Chords, lyrics, and audio

  Results from FactBites:
 
Brad Cox, Ph.D. (1172 words)
The patriots, by contrast, have a more generalized fear of Big Government, which they say is rapidly robbing individuals of their inalienable rights, chief among them the right to bear arms.
Patriots also fear that foreign powers, working through organizations like the United Nations and treaties like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, are eroding the power of America as a sovereign nation.
The patriot movement was galvanized by two events: the bloody face-off in rural Idaho between white separatist Randy Weaver and law-enforcement officials in 1992 and the fiery siege of the Waco, Texas, compound of cult leader David Koresh in 1993.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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