The Falls Road Taximan

The Men of No Property
Lingua: Inglese

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

The Peoples' Taxis first appeared on the Falls Road, Belfast, when the Corporation withdrew public transport from routes through Republican areas where a riot or a gun battle was a daily occurrence. The gap was quickly filled by a group of local taxi men. At lOp per person it must be the cheapest adventure trip in Western Europe. This song is dedicated to Tony, one of our political prisoners in Long Kesh.
(Nota dal libretto che accompagna il disco)

Falls Road è il nome di una delle strade principali di Belfast, quella che divide i quartieri cattolici da quelli protestanti di Shankill Road. Durante il conflitto contro gli occupanti inglesi e la guerra civile tra le due comunità contrapposte il servizio di trasporto pubblico fu interrotto per motivi di sicurezza in tutte le aree dove gli scontri a fuoco erano quotidiani. Così a Falls Road venne costituita un’associazione di tassisti, legata all’IRA, per garantire il trasporto in sicurezza dei cittadini cattolici. Quando nel 1975, a seguito di contatti segreti tra il governo britannico e i vertici dell’organizzazione paramilitare repubblicana, si arrivò ad un cessate il fuoco, l’IRA sospese le operazioni militari contro gli occupanti ma aumentarono esponenzialmente le violenze perpetrate dai lealisti protestanti ai danni dei cittadini di fede cattolica (si veda al proposito la canzone The Shankill Butchers). Muoversi per Belfast in quegli anni era molto pericoloso e gli stessi Falls Road Taximen (dei veri pazzi, come il “Desperate” Dan Cosgrove della canzone), con i loro passeggeri, furono spesso oggetto delle vendette dei paramilitari fedeli alla corona inglese.
As I roved out through Belfast town, around by Castle Street,
Seeking transportation, a young man I did meet.
They said his name was Cosgrove, some called him Desperate Dan,
For he risked his life ten times a day as a Falls Road taxi man.

Well, I put two bob into his hand and I climbed inside the car,
Well, that was all they charged us for traveling near or far,
With fourteen other passengers, we made a noble band
As we set out from Sawyers with the Falls Road taxi man.

On board an expectant mother with not too long to wait,
We hit the ramps at Hastings Street, well, I knew it was too late,
But Cosgrove, he was smiling with a baby in his hand,
"We've just delivered a rebel boy!" cried the Falls Road taxi man.

Well, when we got to Divis Street, he said, "Now bar your door,
The twelve apostles in the back, well, you'd better get on the floor."
For an armoured car was across the road, he said, "We'll have to ram
With my bumpers stole from Macky's," said the Falls Road taxi man.

Well, when we reached the White Rock Road, on the floor we had to lie.
The tracer bullets from the tanks they were lighting up the sky.
Well, above the din a man called out, "Oh, please stop if you can."
"You'll have to use your parachute," cried the Falls Road taxi man.

Well, when we got to Kennedy Way, the night was growing dark,
We dropped another passenger just outside Casement Park.
There was a riot going on, we upset the soldiers' plan,
"Oh, we've just run over the major," cried the Falls Road taxi man.

We reached our destination just west of Lenadoon.
We knew that we would all be safe in God's own country soon
Where the pigs did not adventure and where the paratroops ran,
So we all shook hands and said farewell to the Falls Road taxi man.

inviata da Alessandro - 22/2/2010 - 13:17

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