Never has a song captured the heartache and tragedy of war like Paul Brady’s “The Island”. It is a song of such conviction, pleading to see reason during the most of unreasonable times.
It can be difficult (at times) for a teacher of history to present their students with information on “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland without getting wrapped up in the emotion of it all. Why?…. because of it’s violence? ….because of their duty to present unbiased facts? …..No….because of the senselessness of it all. Over the 30 year period as you may recall, the violence in Northern Ireland cost the lives of 3,600 people.
When you turn on the TV these days, the news is full of horror stories. World War, famine, environmental damage and genocide is an everyday occurrence. In Ireland, 2 of those topics on the list we know little about. We are a country on the edge of Europe that remained outside major conflict in both World Wars, but while inside, our nation knew a conflict that seems far worse than killing a foreign foe; we turned on ourselves.
When you read the lyrics, Paul Brady doesn’t just write about the Lebanon or Ireland. He is writing about all conflicts of the world. Has the sacrifice for worn out dreams really paid off? I wouldn’t think so anyways! After all I truly believe that
In war there are no victors, just those who lost a little less
The Island (Paul Brady)
They say the skies of Lebanon are burning
Those mighty cedars bleeding in the heat
They’re showing pictures on the television
Women and children dying in the street
And we’re still at it in our own place
Still trying to reach the future through the past
Still trying to carve tomorrow from a tombstone…
But Hey! Don’t listen to me!
This wasn’t meant to be no sad song
We’ve heard too much of that before
Right now I only want to be here with you
Till the morning dew comes falling
I want to take you to the island
And trace your footprints in the sand
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’ll make love to the sound of the ocean
They’re raising banners over by the markets
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown
No way our holy flag is gonna fall
Up here we sacrifice our children
To feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday
And teach them dying will lead us into glory…
Now I know us plain folks don’t see all the story
And I know this peace and love’s just copping out
And I guess these young boys dying in the ditches
Is just what being free is all about
And how this twisted wreckage down on main street
Will bring us all together in the end
And we’ll go marching down the road to freedom…
For More information on Paul Brady, why not check out his site: www.paulbrady.com/
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