Friday, 18 March 2011

Why Do the Irish Sing Two 'Anthems' at the Rugby? After Tomorrow Will I Care?

And you thought my post on the English singing God Save the Queen before their Six Nations matches was controversial.

An Irish acquaintance (through work) sent me this reply when I asked him about the Irish national anthem (I always wondered why the Irish got to sing two songs - was this a ruse to unnerve the opposition, an aural war of attrition?).

He replied:

The second song they sing is We'll Answer Ireland's Call or something like that. It's about the same as the English supporters singing Swing Low, Sweet FA.

I'll leave you to take in those words as I use the defence of Pontius Pilot (moral cowardice) and wash my hands of all responsibility. 

I am, of course, part Irish and so (as opposed to last weekend) I will be supporting Ireland tomorrow, for its own sake, but also because if the Irish win (however against the odds that seems) the Welsh have a slim chance of still winning the Six Nations championship.

I know I'm clutching at straws, but while there is life there is hope.

Come on Wales! Cymru am Byth! Come on Ireland! Eirinn go brach!

A few years ago (1999) I was living in Scotland and the only chance Scotland had of winning the Six Nations was if Wales beat England, which they went and did. That very evening I think I was the most popular man in the bar and didn't have to pay for any beers. Ah! Sweet memories.

If Ireland did the same for Wales (and France continue with their abysmal style from last weekend) tomorrow, then I would think an errant Irishman in a Welsh pub might well find himself in the same situation... Now where did I put my Irish rugby top... ;-)

And do you know what, if Ireland do Wales this favour tomorrow I would petition the president of the Irish Rugby Union to allow them three anthems: even Brian Moore's favourite, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, if they wanted to! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. The Soldiers Song is the national anthem of irish republic and Irelands call is the Rugby anthem of the combined Northern and Republic Irish players, so its a compromise to please both sides.


No foul language please