More (Mostly) Folk Music

Men of No Property   •   This is Free Belfast!

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  • This is Free Belfast!
    • 1971 - Paredon P-1006 LP (USA)
  • Side One
    1. Cry Murder! (Wlyd)
    2. Burntollet Bridge Ambush (Wyld)
    3. It's A Man's Life in The Army (Wyld)
    4. Craig's Dragoons (Wyld)
    5. Hughes' Bakery Van (McIlvogue)
    6. Ballad of Danny O'Hagan (McIlvogue)
    7. The Bogside Doodle Bug (McIlvogue)
    8. The Ballad of Carrick Hill (McIlvogue)
  • Side Two
    1. Leaving Belfast Town (McIlvogue)
    2. The Great Eel Robbery (Brown)
    3. The Smuggling Men (David Hammond)
    4. The Bogside Man (McIlvogue)
    5. Rubber Bullets (Wyld)
    6. Ballymurphy (McIlvogue)
    7. Ballad of Lynch's Army (McIlvogue)
    8. Up in The Armagh Prison (Bernadette Devlin) (McIlvogue, Behan)

Sleeve Notes

Words: Wlyd
Sung by: McHenry
Accompaniment: Whistle, Guitar

DEDICATION: To the memory of PATRICK ROONEY' aged nine, killed by a stray bullet, Divis Street, Belfast, during the fighting on the night of 14th August, 1969.
On that night, Northern Ireland's 90% Protestant police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), rioted throughout the Catholic ghettoes of Belfast. They savagely attacked innocent people and drove through the streets indiscriminately firing their weapons. One result of this demonstration of the RUC's fascist and racist interpretation of law and order was the murder of little Patrick Rooney while he lay in his bed.

One wonders if Patrick's father could view his little boy's body with part of his head blown off, the room awash with Patrick's blood, and then dismiss this horror from his mind with a "manly" shrug of his shoulders and the utterance of some bromide such as "War is hell!"
One wonders how Irish-Americans would react if somehow the policeman who murdered Patrick was convicted, but later freed and made a hero of by the Prime Minister or the Premier.

Words: Wyld
Air: "Boys of Sandy Row"
Sung by: Wyld
Accompaniment: Accordion, guitar, percussion

This ballad commemorates an incident in which police and civilian enemies of the civil rights movement conspired to attack a peaceful demonstration at Burntollet Bridge during a march from Belfast to Londonderry.

"A horde of people appeared, armed with iron bars, clubs, and bottles. Many were wearing white armbands and helmets. Six men with clubs jumped out from the right and began, indiscriminately, to club people round me... I was struck four times on the head and several times on the shoulders..."

"Standing on the side of the bridge... was a large, middle-aged, well-dressed man...he whipped what seemed like a police baton out of his overcoat pocket and smashed it on the back of the nearest marcher. Boys and girls went down, one after another."
Extract from "Unholy Smoke" by G.W. Target.

Words: Wyld
Air: "Rocks of Baun"
Sung by: Wyld
Accompaniment: Guitar

Words: Wyld
Air: "Dolly's Brae"
Sung by: Lavery
Accompaniment: Guitar, whistle, mandolin.

Monologue written and performed by McIlvogue, with drum and flute.

In recognition of its outstanding service in defense of the Catholics of the Falls Road, Hughes Bakery Van takes a place of honor next to Johnson's motor car as one of the principle vehicles of Irish freedom.
However, intelligence reports comina into the Falls indicate that the Scotch-Irish of the Shankill Road Department of Defense are developing something they call Annie's Lorry. If Annie's Lorry is as good as it's cracked up to be, its encounter with Hughes' Bakery Van should make the great battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac look like a pillow fight in comparison.

Words: McIlvogue
Air: "Jamie Foyers"
Sung by: McIlvogue

Danny O'Hagan, a nineteen-year old apprentice electrician, was cold-bloodedly shot to death at twenty yards by British soldiers under the command of General lan Freeland, while standing on a Belfast street corner. In the report, the British claim O'Hagan was throwing a petrol bomb: the people who were with him said he was unarmed. O'Hagan's death was followed by a march of tribute by 5,000 people, and six days of rioting with increased use of petrol bombs. As Liam McMillan, a Republican leader of the North, said, "The history of Ireland shows that the more repression that is used against the Irish people, the more they will resist it."

Words: McIlvogue
Sung by: McIlvogue, with group
Accompaniment: Guitar

Words: McIlvogue
Air: "Take it Down From the Mast"
Sung by: Lavery
Accompaniment: Drums, whistle, mandolin

Words: McIlvogue
Air: "The Hero"
Sung by: Wyld
Accompaniment: Guitar, dulcimer

Words: Brown
Air: "Star of the County Down"
Sung by: Wyld
Accompaniment: Harmonica

Northern Ireland's great Lough Neagh is the richest fishing ground of Western Europe. Instead of this natural treasure being the heritage and property of all the people, the fishing rights to its greatest catch, eels, are controlled exclusively by one company, the Dutch-controlled Toome Eel Fisheries (N.I.) Ltd. This company makes the laws, issues licenses, hires bailiffs, prosecutes the fishermen, and can revoke their licenses.

Words: David Hammond
Air: "Limerick Rake"
Sung by: Wyld
Accompaniment: Guitar, mandolin, whistle

Words: McIlvogue
Air: "Hogseye Man"
Sung by: McIlvogue with group

Words: Wyld
Air: "Football Crazy"
Sung by: Wyld
Accompaniment: Guitar, Mandolin

One of the riot control weapons devised by the British Army to maintain the military occupation of Ulster is the rubber bullet. Presumably, this more "humane" tool of warfare will demonstrate the "kindliness" of the authorities in the Six Counties, although its success in achieving that objective has been nil.

Words: McIlvogue
Air: "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain"
Sung by: Lavery
Accompaniment: Guitar, Mandolin

Words: McIlvogue
Air: "Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry"
Sung by: McIlvogue
Accompaniment: Accordion, guitar whistle

During the attempted pogrom against the Catholic masses in the North in the summer of 1969, Jack Lynch, the Fianna Fail leader of the government of the South, sent his troops to the border... and, no further. Although this gesture was to appease those of his constituency whose displeasure would be aroused if he should stand idly by, it actually exposed the pseudo nationalist pretenses of Lynch and his party. Eamonn McCann, a leader of the civil-rights struggle in the North, put it this way: "Instead of asking Fianna Fail to move troops into the North, they should have said thet the Fianna Fail will not move troops in because it is a puppet of British Imperialism and puppets don't send troops to fight their masters.

UP IN THE ARMAGH PRISON (Bernadette Devlin)
Words: McIlvogue
Air: "The Old Triangle"
Sung by: Lavery
Accompaniment: Whistle