An Immigrant Song

Ellis Island B&W

There are many songs written about the Irish experience of emigration and it’s heartening to know today how successful we are throughout the world since the days of Colonialism, Famine, War of Independence, Civil War and more recently Austerity.

It is in our nature to stand in solidarity with people of all Nations and Creeds seeking refuge and a new beginning with the hope of finding the same opportunities in life that us Irish were given and created, after overcoming prejudice and fear of “The Paddy”.

In Ireland our Government has been found wanting when it comes to the process of accepting refugees, while our Defense Forces and NGOs do trojan work in the most difficult of circumstances. The Direct Provision system is demeaning to people when help is needed most, spending years living in prefabs and run down hotels with private business profiting from this inhumanity.

You might be wondering why you’re reading this on the website of a pub, well here at The Cobblestone we are lucky to have visitors from all over the world on a daily basis and if there’s one thing that unites us all it’s music, so I’ll get back to the tunes. Below is a selection of songs related to Ireland’s longstanding relationship with being an emigration/immigration nation.

For further listening and reading from a universal perspective visit Songs of Immigration and Migration at The U.S Library of Congress(..before it disappears).

Beginning with two of our finest voices Dolores & Seán Keane – Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.

“And courage is the passport when your old world disappears..”

Two versions of ‘No Irish Need Apply’, one from Tommy Makem and the other by The Wolfe Tones.

Luke Kelly – My Little Son.

Mary Dillon – The Green Fields of Canada.

The Pogues – Thousands are Sailing.

“Where e’er we go, we celebrate,
The land that makes us refugees.”

De Danann – I’m Leaving Tipperary.

Johnny McEvoy – The Old Bog Road.

Christy Moore – City of Chicago.

Paul Brady with Andy Irvine – Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore.

The Dubliners – Paddy on the Railway.

Song from our own Mick O’Grady about Irish men going to Canada seeking work.

“Those in power write the history, while those who suffer write the songs” – Frank Harte


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