Very political tones


Very political tones

Sing Out for Ireland
Wolfe Tones
Distributed by Larrikin
Reviewed by Bernie Brian

The Dublin-based Wolfe Tones have probably been around as long as the Chieftains but are not as well known. Could it have something to do with their name, which comes from the 17th century Irish Protestant revolutionary who organised an ill-fated invasion of Ireland by Napoleon's navy, in order to liberate his country from British rule?

The Wolfe Tones play fairly mainstream music but combine it with lyrics that are unashamedly political. They are very much the musical ambassadors for Irish Republicanism. While I would rather listen to the rollicking reels of the Chieftains, you can't help being drawn to the irreverent sing-along nature of their music.

This is particularly the case with the satirical songs like "The Impartial Police Force", which is dedicated to the discredited sectarian Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Also included on this album are songs like the "Guildford Four", dedicated to all Irish political prisoners and "Radio Toor-I-Li-Ay", about media bias and historical revisionism. Not all their songs are political, but certainly their best are.

The fact that Ireland's biggest export is still its unemployed youth and that a whole section of the population still suffers at the hands of British terrorism make the content of the Wolfe Tones' songs as relevant today as ever.