The Freedom Fighter (Joe McCann)

The Men of No Property
Language: English

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[ [1977]
Album “England's Vietnam - Irish Songs of Resistance”, Folkways Records
Scritta da Barney McIlvogue

The small back street ghettoes of Belfast have been the setting for so many of the battles in the present struggle. They have suffered most of the direct oppression of British imperialism and in return have produced many of the leaders and sadly but inevitably the martyrs who have paid with their lives to see this country free. People who will be remembered when the names of the generals and the politicians have long been forgotten, this is a song about them.
(Nota dal libretto che accompagna il disco)

Canzone – che richiama in qualche modo I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night di Alfred Hayes - dedicata al militante repubblicano nord-irlandese e membro dell’IRA Joe McCann, ucciso dagli inglesi nel 1972. Quando fu colpito – alla schiena – era disarmato.

Joe McCann fotografato durante i “Troubles” dell’estate 1971. Accanto a lui la “starry plough flag”, la bandiera dell’Irish Citizen Army, il movimento repubblicano e socialista fondato da James Connolly.

Joe McCann era già passato alla storia prima di morire. Nei “Troubles” del 1971 la sua unità, composta da pochi uomini, aveva contrastato i rastrellamenti inglesi asserragliandosi nei Markets di Belfast e aveva tenuto testa per un’intera nottata a centinaia di soldati occupanti. Nello stesso anno, aveva liberato alcuni paramilitari lealisti catturati durante un’operazione dell’IRA, guadagnandosi il rispetto degli avversari.
From the back streets of the city, from the darkness came a man
Dressed in a battle jacket, with a carbine in his hand.
He came to lead the people, told them, "Do not be afraid,
If working people organise, we'll win," that's what he said.

Through Belfast he would wander, with a big price on his head,
The poor did not betray him, for in their homes he stayed.
Internment came, they did not take him, "Go to the South," they said.
No more we'll run, but hold our guns at the barricades instead.

Came the night I well remember, the night of the market raid,
The people's army in the street, outnumbered, unafraid.
With a small band of his comrades, a regiment he held at bay,
All night he fought to hold them off that his men might get away.

Down Joy Street he was walking, the Branch men laid their plan.
The soldiers shot him down unarmed, they feared that brave young man.
They shot him in the Markets, the People's friend was lying dead,
We'll not forget the words he spoke, "Organise now," big Joe said.

Contributed by Alessandro - 2010/2/22 - 13:50

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