Saturday, May 03, 2008

It's sometimes confusing being Irish.

The Republic of Ireland's national anthem is A Soldier's Song (Amhrán na bhFiann) It is usually sung in Irish rather than English even though only a tiny percentage of the Irish population speak Irish. That's right, the national anthem is in a language that few understand.

The National Anthem of Northern Ireland is God Save The Queen.

Because the Irish rugby team represents both Ireland and Northern Ireland, Ireland Calls (in English) is used for rugby games outside of Ireland. For games in Ireland, both Amhrán na bhFiann and Ireland Calls are used. Irish hockey and cricket teams also use Ireland Calls.

Then comest the Irish-Americans, who usually consider Danny Boy to be their Irish anthem. Being 1/4 Irish, I can assure you that a good Irish funeral always includes the playing of Danny Boy on the church organ.

Both Amhrán na bhFiann and Ireland Calls are in the first video. (Note the players who sing only one of the two or sing none.) The second is Danny Boy, sung by Declan Galbraith. The third, in fairness, is God Save the Queen (may my grandfather forgive me.).

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