Wednesday, August 31, 2005


'What If'? Wednesday - New anthem

Continuing the musical theme of the week, I got to thinking about anthems and thought I would put this hypothetical to you - what if Ireland was reunited and was in need of an anthem? What should that anthem be?

It is my view that if Ireland is one day reunited, Amhran na bhFiann should be scrapped. I haven't got a major problem with the anthem to be honest (though I do think it's overrated) but I'm realistic enough to know that unionists would never accept it as their anthem

Some people may propose a solution similar to what happened with the German anthem with the tune being retained and the words changed, though unionists would probably still find the song uncomfortable. With that being said, we can probably rule that idea out. And we can definitely rule out Phil Coulter's atrocious Ireland's Call. One would be more likely to hear sweeter sounds on the other side of a hollow motel wall as Shirley Temple Bar enthusiastically celebrates his/her honeymoon. So then, having ruled those ideas out, let's come up with some fresh ideas for what the all-Ireland anthem should be.

Personally, two songs spring to mind. Firstly, A Nation Once Again. On the plus side, it's a rousing song with appropriate lyrics in the chorus, "A Nation once again, A Nation once again, And Ireland, long a province be, A Nation once again!" The downside is that it is regarded as an Irish rebel song even though it doesn't glorify Irish freedom fighters by name, nor criticise the English. The second option I feel would be Danny Boy. On the plus side, it would stand a good chance of being accepted by both sides. The downside is that it's not a particularly rousing song and would hardly fire up a team before a match!

Of course another option would be the creation of an entirely new anthem though considering Phil Coulter penned Ireland's Call, who would be asked this time? Daniel O'Donnell or some other eejit? No thanks.

In my view we ought to go with A Nation Once Again or Danny Boy. What are your thoughts? And would you accept an anthem that was not in Irish?


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