Looking for Irish rebel songs? Want to know about all the different types of rebel songs available? Read our guide for more information on choosing the right song for you…
The Irish War of Independence, fought from 1919 to 1921 to free Ireland from British rule, was spearheaded by the great Irish statesman, Michael Collins. Irish rebel songs became a popular form of protest by the Irish prisoners of war during the conflict. Rebel songs are a sub-genre of Irish folk music. However, although both types of music share the same instrumentation, rebel songs concern themselves with Irish nationalism.
Irish rebel songs were the staple of freedom fighters and patriotic nationalists struggling against oppressive foreign rule. The common thread of these rebel songs were emotive themes evoking sentiments of solidarity, patriotism and loyalty. Many songs paid tribute to fallen Irish heroes.
The historical beginnings of Irish rebel songs continued to contemporary times as the focus shifted to Northern Ireland since 1922 in keeping with the issues of nationalism in that region. Songs had lyrics which conveyed support for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Sinn Fein. These rebel songs expanded their repertoire to include Irish soldiers who fought on both French and Spanish soil and those who lost their lives in the American civil war.
Contemporary Rebel Songs
The supporters of Irish rebel songs declare that freedom of speech provides impetus for rebel songs to find voice on the air waves. The instrumentation of rebel songs has been mixed with hip hop in recent times in keeping with the current trends in music. The stirring vocals and lyrics of these songs have, on occasion, found international repute as in the case of ‘A Nation Once Again’ sung by Wolfe Tones which took the number one spot on the music charts by BBC World Service listeners in 2002.
Famous Irish rebel songs like ‘Let the People Sing’ and ‘Wrap the Green Flag Around Me, Boys’ evoke a strong nationalist sensibility. These songs arouse the spirit to challenge foreign domination and establish independent rule over Irish subjects. The conflict in Northern Ireland became a focal point of rebel songs until the IRA announced a ceasefire and put an end to the armed struggle against the British army in 2005.
Irish rebel songs have been the backbone of Irish nationalist pride for centuries and most especially during the Irish War of Independence. In recent times, rebel songs have captured the emotive issue of the British occupation of Northern Ireland.