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The Sam Song

Gerry O'Glacain


Language: English


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The British army in Northern Ireland started to use helicopters in the mid-1970's, because ambushes and snipers made ground patrols and road transport a perilous undertaking. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) realised that it would be devastating for British morale if they could bring down a helicopter and the organisation went shopping for surface-to-air missiles, or SAM's.
Initially the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) tried to buy SAM-missiles from Central American arms dealers in the United States of America. This plan however was frustrated by the PIRA Unit, a special FBI-unit, with the arrest of Gabriel Megahey in June 1982.

In the course of the 1980's however the relation between the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) and Libya's head of state Colonel Ghadaffi, the so-called Green-Green Alliance, started to pay off and rumours that the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) had acquired SAM-missiles started to buzz around.
Russian made SAM-missiles, especially the SA 7, also known as Grail, shoulder-fired heat seeking missiles, which are alleged to have been bought by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA), are well known and used by several paramilitary organisations over the world.

For a while these rumours could not be verified, mainly because no SAM was ever launched in Northern Ireland, but when Colonel Ghadaffi decided that Libya had to become a decent state he provided the government of the United Kingdom with documents concerning arms deliveries to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA). The exact number of systems is well hidden in the archives, but estimations vary from one to seven.
The fact that no SAM-missile was fired by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) is puzzling, all the more given the efforts and money spent obtaining the systems. There are some different points of view in this matter. A bit too naïve perhaps is the idea that they lack the know-how needed to use the missiles. Others assume that the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) bought defective systems.
The discovery of two operational SAM-missiles with a short English manual in France in October 2004 might belie both opinions. It is believed that these missiles were bought by the Basque terrorist group Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA, meaning Basque Fatherland and Liberty) from the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA).

The uncertainties will remain until the Independent International Commission of Decommissioning (IICD) publish the survey of weapons put beyond use by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (pIRA) in the decommission process or, God forbid, a dissident group actually use one. Due to advancing techniques the SA 7 is nowadays an obsolete weapon system for military use, but attacks on low flying civil planes are a theoretical possibility though.

Tiocfaidh ár lá, abbreviated to TÁL, meaning our day will come, is the slogan of the Republican movement. Nowadays this slogan is rarely heard in the Republic of Ireland and only occasionally in Northern Ireland. Among Irish descendants in the United States or Scotland however the slogan is still rather popular.

Recorded by:
1916, Athenrye, Éire Óg, The Irish Brigade, The Pilgrims, Shebeen, The Spirit of Sixty 7, Wild Colonial Bhoys e Banda Bassotti

www.triskelle.eu
Well I have been a Provo now for fifteen years or more
Of ArmaLites and mortar bombs I thought I knew the score
Now we have a weapon that we've never used before
The Brits are looking worried and they're going to worry more

Tiocfaidh ár lá, sing up the 'RA
SAM missiles in the sky

I started out with petrol bombs and throwing bricks and stones
There were a hundred more lads like me I never was alone
Soon I learned that bricks and stones won't drive the brits away
It wasn't very long before I joined the IRA

Tiocfaidh ár lá, sing up the 'RA
SAM missiles in the sky

Then there came internment in the year of '71
The Brits thought we were beaten that we were on the run
On that early august morning they kicked in our back door
But for every man they took away they missed twenty more

Tiocfaidh ár lá, sing up the 'RA
SAM missiles in the sky

I spent eight years in the cages had time to think and plan
Although they locked away a boy I walked out a man
There's only one thing that I learned while in a cell I lay
The Brits will never leave us until they're blown away

Tiocfaidh ár lá, sing up the 'RA
SAM missiles in the sky

All through the days of hunger strike I watched my comrades die
And in the streets of Belfast you could hear the women cry
I can't forget the massacre that Friday at Loughgall
I salute my fallen comrades as I watch the choppers fall

Tiocfaidh ár lá, sing up the 'RA
SAM missiles in the sky

Contributed by DonQuijote82 - 2011/4/11 - 08:48



Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Lorcon

La canzone di Gerry O'Glacain, suonata in parte sulle note di Ghost Riders in the Sky, ripercorre la storia di un militante della Provisional IRA da quando, da ragazzino, tirava pietre e mattoni agli occupanti a quando la (P)IRA si dotava di strumenti più moderni per colpire l'esercito di occupazione britannico.
Sono stato un Provo[1] oer quindici anni o più
Degli ArmaLites[2] e dei mortai conosco la forza
Ma ora abbiamo armi che non abbiamo mai usato prima
I Brits[3] stanno guardando preoccupati, e si preoccuperanno ancora di più

Tiocfaidh ár lá, canta Viva la 'RA[5]
Missili S.A.M. nel cielo[6]

Iniziai con le molotov, tirando mattoni e pietre
C'erano centinaia di giovanotti con me, non sono mai stato solo
Presto imparai che mattoni e pietre non avrebbero cacciato i Brits
Non era molto lontano il tempo in cui sarei entrato nell'IRA

[Tiocfaidh ár lá, canta Viva la 'RA[5]
Missili S.A.M. nel cielo[6]

Dopo venne l'internamento, era l'anno del '71[7]
I Brits pensavano di averci colpito a fondo, che stessimo per essere batturi
In quel primo mattino agostano sfondarono la nostra porta del retro
Ma per ogni uomo che portarono via, ne persero venti o più

Tiocfaidh ár lá, canta Viva la 'RA[5]
Missili S.A.M. nel cielo[6]

Passai otto anni nelle gabbie, ed ebbi il tempo per pensare e pianificare
Loro imprigionarono un ragazzo, io ne uscii come uomo
C'è solo una cosa che imparai mentre giacevo in cella
I Brits non ese ne andranno fintato che non saranno scacciati

Tiocfaidh ár lá, canta Viva la 'RA[5]
Missili S.A.M. nel cielo[6]

Nei giorni dello sciopero della fame[8] vedevo i miei compagni morire
E le nelle strade di Belfast potevi sentire le donne piangere
Non posso dimenticare il massacro di quel venerdì a Loughgall[9]
Io saluto i miei compagni caduti mentre guardando gli elicotteri cadere

Tiocfaidh ár lá, canta Viva la 'RA[5]
Missili S.A.M. nel cielo[6]

Contributed by Lorcon - 2013/7/26 - 15:30


NOTE

[1]Per Provo (plurale Provos) si intendono i militanti della Provisional Irish Republican Army, gruppo indipendentista armato che prese il posto della precedente IRA (chiamata da quel momento Official IRA), accusata di non fare abbastanza. Fu il principale gruppo lottarmatista durante i Troubles. Il termine Provos ha un omonimia che indica il movimento politico libertario e di avanguardia artistica presente in Olanda e in Italia a fine anni '60.
[2]Gli ArmaLites sono una versione del fucile d'assalto M16, di produzione USA
[4]Diminutivo, spregiativo, per indicare i britannici occupanti
[5]"Tiocfaidh ár lá" è una frase che in gaelico significa "il nostro giorno verrà" ed è uno slogan indipendetista irlandese. 'RA è l'abbreviativo per (Irish)Republican Army
[6]I missili S.A.M. sono una tipologia di missili terra-aria. La (P)IRA ne acquisto diversi quantitativi dalla Libia.
[7]La politica dell'internamento partì nel 1971. Chi era sospettato di militare in gruppi indipendentisti poteva essere internato in speciali centri di detenzione con procedura amministrativa.
[8]Si riferisce agli scioperi della fame contro gli internamenti, portati avanti dai prigionieri. Vi furono due grossi scioperi della fame, protetti per mesi. Il più famoso è quello del 1981 che vede la morte di Bobby Sand e altri 10 internati
[9]Si riferisce al massacro di Loughgall. Durante un attacco dell'(P)IRA ad una caserma della RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary, la polizia britannica in Ulster) intervennero le forze speciali dell'esercito britannico (SAS,Special Air Service). Durante lo scontro morirono otto militanti dell'IRA, alcuni probabilmente uccisi a freddo, e un passante che nulla centrava.

2013/7/26 - 15:44


Versione della Banda Bassotti, nell'album "Asi es mi vida"

Así es mi vida. Banda Bassotti, 2002.

donquijote82 - 2014/3/2 - 10:48



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