Thousands are Sailing

Thousands Are Sailing

                                 The Pogues

"Thousands Are Sailing"
If I Should Fall from Grace with God (CD, 1988)

The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save

Did you work upon the railroad
Did you rid the streets of crime
Were your dollars from the white house
Were they from the five and dime

Did the old songs taunt or cheer you
And did they still make you cry
Did you count the months and years
Or did your teardrops quickly dry

Ah, No, says he 'twas not to be
On a coffin ship I came here
And I never even got so far
That they could change my name

Thousands are sailing
Across the Western Ocean
To a land of opportunity
That some of them will never see
Fortune prevailing
Across the Western Ocean
Their bellies full
And their spirits free
They'll break the chains of poverty
And they'll dance
In Manhattan's desert twilight
In the death of afternoon
We stepped hand in hand on Broadway
Like the first man on the moon

And "The Blackbird" broke the silence
As you whistled it so sweet
And in Brendan Behan's footsteps
I danced up and down the street

Then we said goodnight to Broadway
Giving it our best regards
Tipped our hats to Mister Cohan
Dear old Times Square's favourite bard

Then we raised a glass to J.F.K.
And a dozen more besides
When I got back to my empty room
I suppose I must have cried

Thousands are sailing
Again across the ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Postcards we're mailing
Of sky-blue skies and oceans
From rooms the daylight never sees
Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees

But we dance to the music
And we dance
Thousands are sailing
Across the Western Ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery

Where e'er we go, we celebrate
The land that makes us refugees
From fear of Priests with empty plates
From guilt and weeping effigies
And we dance


                              Sinead O'Connor

Universal Mother Album

OK, I want to talk about Ireland
Specifically I want to talk about the "famine"
About the fact that there never really was one
There was no "famine"
See Irish people were only ALLOWED to eat potatoes
All of the other food
Meat fish vegetables
Were stipped out of the country under armed guard
To England while the Irish people starved
And then on the middle of all this
They gave us money not to teach our children Irish
And so we lost our history
And this is what I think is still hurting me
See we're like a child that's been battered
Has to drive itself out of it's head because it's fightened
Still feels all the painful feelings
But they lose contact with the memory
And this leads to massive self-destruction
All desperate attempts at running
And in it's worst form
Becomes actual killing
And if there ever is gonna be healing
There has to be remembering
And then grieving
So that there then can be forgiving
There has to be knowledge and understanding
An American army regulation
Says you mustn't kill more than 10% of a nation
'Cos to do so causes permanent "psychological damage"
It's not permanent but they didn't know that
Anyway during the supposed "famine"
We lost a lot more than 10% of a nation
Through deaths on land or on ships of emigration
But what finally broke us was not starvation
Schools go on about "Black 47"
On and on about "The terrible "famine""
But what they don't say is in truth
There really never was one
So let's take a look shall we
The highest statistics of child abuse in the EEC
And we say we're a Christian country
But we've lost contact with our history
See we used to worship God as a mother
Look at all our old men in the pubs
Look at all our young people on drugs
We used to worship God as a mother
Now look at what we're doing to each other
We've even made killers of ourselves
The most child-like trusting people in the Universe
And this is what's wrong with us
Our history books THE PARENT FIGURES lied to us
I see the Irish
As a race like a child
That got itself bashed in the face
And if there ever is gonna be healing
There has to be remembering
And then grieving
So that there then can be FORGIVING


     Everything is still
     Not a chicken not a body
     Just an awful sickenin' silence roarin' in my ears
     And the fog of death deepens and lies upon the land
     An ould wan rolls over on her back
     The grass stains all green upon her chin
     I can still hear her keenin' and screamin' in the wind

     God's curse upon you Lord John Russell
     May your blackhearted soul rot in hell
     There's no love left on earth
     And god is dead in heaven
     In the dark and deadly days of Black 47

     God's curse upon you Lord Trevalian
     May your great Queen Victoria rot in hell
     'Til England and its Empire
     Answer before heaven
     For the crimes they committed in Black 47

     Paudie says "c'mon now
     Don't look back, she's not livin', she's a phantom
     And she'll curse us if we look into her eyes"
     Oh God, I must be dyin' - the fever's in me brain
     For can't you see that pack of children up ahead
     The beards of old men sproutin' from their chins
     Can't you hear their screams of hunger on the wind

     Oh darlin' Paudie save me
     I think I'm sinkin' fast, me blood is boilin'
     Don't let me die here in a ditch
     If the hunger doesn't get me - the fever surely will
     So Paudie picked me up and threw me 'cross his shoulders
     He nursed me everyday 'til we reached Amerikay
     Screamin' and shoutin' like a madman at the wind-Black47

White Potatoes
O'Callanan  (verses exerpted for the song by Paddy Moloney)

A thousand farewells to the white potatoes
For as long as we had them, a pleasant hoard
Affable innocent, coming into our company
As they laughed us at the head of the board.

They were help to the nurse, to the man and the child,
To the weak and the strong, to the young and the old
But the cause of my sorrow, my grief, my affliction
Them rolling away, without frost, without cold.

What will buy a shroud for those to be buried?
Tobacco, pipes or a coffin of wood?
And, of course, it would be a release if we could.


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