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The real story of the Famine song (sorry if it's a repost but it needs read agai


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The real story of "The Famine Song" - Written by Bill, of Bill & Will fame

I was brought up in an area of East Belfast which was predominantly Protestant. From my primary school days and right through my teens about 60% of my best friends would probably have been of the Catholic persuasion. There were some awkward times when I took a few punches to the chin by people who didn't take too kindly to my association with and defence of them. One of my best friends, Jim, actually took a terrible kicking at the Short Strand after a night out in the town. The ones who attacked him were actually people he had gone to school with but the fact that he lived where he did meant it was open season on him. I can remember joking with him at the hospital that we should just take the kicking before we went out at night to get it over and done with.

We used to go to the local Chapel on the Upper Newtownards Road three times a week to participate in youth club activities. I can remember on one occasion that the resident priest Father Steel made a recommendation to the youth club leaders that unless the members attended Mass then they should not be permitted to use the youth club facilities. The leaders of the youth club held a meeting with him to fight our corner. He was not for relenting. However, after further discussions it was decided that the non-Catholics would be allowed to abstain from Mass. I believe that the leaders had put it to him that it was a type of discrimination. You can imagine my horror when I found out years later that he was on trial for sexually abusing children of the parish and eventually received a jail sentence.

I was always fascinated by the legendary Belfast Celtic and had read their book many times over. My grandfather had watched them on many occasions and I would love to hear the stories of how they conquered all before them and even beat the full Scotland team in New York. I would have loved to have seen this great team in full flow, but never did. One of the first songs that I wrote was an appreciation of them.

(to the tune of 'Come back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff')

My Grandfather tells me about the old times and of Ireland's great football teams

How the best of them all played at Paradise, they sported the White and the Green

Oh Celtic, oh Celtic, oh what have they done? That great football team we all knew

The team's just a memory the fans they are gone. It's hard to forgive those in Blue

Wherever they played was a gala day, with thousands turned out day or night

The men took their wives and kids to the game to witness this beautiful sight

With Walker at right half and Jones up the front, Paddy Bonner and Tully the wing

They tortured defences and turned keepers' heads and they sported the White and the Green

It was at Windsor Park one cold Boxing Day Bob Bryson and Jones chased the ball

Jones leapt to his feet and just gave a shrug, though Bryson did not move at all

The Blue men were outraged though the tackle was fair

They wanted Jim Jones at all costs

At the end of the game they invaded the pitch, they dragged him all over the moss

They kicked him and punched him and then cracked his ribs, they wanted him out of the game

The fact he was Orange, it just didn't count, they then broke his leg, left him lame

He lay there in Limbo his senses were dimmed, his team-mates they broke down in tears

Now Celtic withdrew from the Irish League, so it's died o'er this past 40 years

Oh Celtic, oh Celtic, oh what have they done? That great football team we all knew

Their spirit is broken the fans they are gone, destroyed by the Red White and Blue

It may seem rather hard to comprehend for many modern day supporters of both sides of the Old Firm, but the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland were far closer and respectful of each other in those days. I idolised my grandfather and my father, who were both Protestants who happened to support Belfast Celtic. They weren't alone.

While Belfast Celtic were named after their Scottish counterparts, and set up to support charitable causes, they had no distinctive signing policy like the Glasgow team.

Many of their players were Protestant, including Jim Jones, the Orangeman who had his legs broken by the Linfield support that day.

I love football. I always did and always will. Without Belfast Celtic to follow as I grew up, I followed Glentoran, and still do.

I still keep in touch with all my old friends. A while ago a friend's mother passed away, and her funeral was at St Colmcilles Chapel. I attended to show my respects, and after the funeral, I was invited to the family shindig. For anyone who doesn't know, these wakes and funerals in Ireland last for days. Of course I was the first one called up on the stage for a song. At a guess there would have been 40 Irish Catholics and 10 Irish Protestants present.

All of those present knew that I was the writer of "The Famine Song", as it was rebranded by others, or "Dirty Blighters" as I had written it. I was asked to sing said ditty, to the delight of all those present.

Nothing would do but I had to exhaust my whole song book for them including one I wrote condemning an old sectarian signing policy that Linfield used to employ. Other traditional Irish folk songs followed, including a few that would raise some eyebrows amongst hardliners on both sides of the religious divide! You see, despite the hatred and division that some bigots wish to maintain in Northern Ireland, many of us can live together, respect one another and try our best to overcome these barriers. The barriers are put up by bigots and hypocrites, like Phil McGillivan.

I can recall when the Orange Walk was genuinely a cultural celebration by Protestants, and Catholics proudly joined the celebrations of liberty from oppression.

In those days there were no riots on the 12th, Orange Halls were not attacked, and Orangemen did not have to run the gauntlet to march down a street.

In those days, we all sported a shamrock and celebrated St Patrick's Day together too.

Of course, Phil wouldn't know that, and neither would his other "Plastic Paddy" partner-in-crime Kieron Brady, as neither they, nor their parents live or have lived in Ulster.

After the troubles started, and the Republicans started brainwashing and intimidating ordinary Catholics, any semblance of community was lost for decades. Despite propaganda telling us this is on the mend, nothing could be further from the truth.

My song about the Linfield sectarian signing policy is below.

There's only a place in my heart for one team, those magical colours of Red Black and Green

For every one player is welcomed by me no matter his background, religion or creed

But bigotry raises its ugly head, some try to ruin football and leave it for dead

But their taunts and slogans can bother me none for I'm more of a Proddie than those Linfield scum.

If Linfield's complaining then don't come to me, just tell Gerry Adams for he's your MP

If the going gets tough and the times do get lean, I'll ask Pope John Paul to bless my wee team

So don't kid yourselves that you are the elite, you're not even fit to lick Jim Cleary's feet!

It's because of religion and bias and hate that has our wee country in such a bad state

So here is my message, Tom Connell and friends, the fans are behind you we'll cheer you no end.

Just play good football we've given you the nod and who knows you might even marry a Prod.

So Glenmen unite and the team do us proud and sneer at the vermin in that hostile crowd

I know in my heart that this wish will come true and silence that scum who shame Red White and Blue

You see, my songs have always been about challenging the bigotry and hypocrisy that has historically been a blight on the game of football in Ireland and in Scotland.

Why Scotland you ask? Well, I may be Irish, but I also support Rangers Football Club.

I'll talk later of why I support them.

So, what's my story? Am I the way I have been depicted?

I'll let you make your own mind up.

When I reached the grand old age of 20 or so I decided to travel to London with a few friends to seek my fortune. It wasn't long before reality set in and I found the streets were not as golden paved as I had anticipated. I lived in London off and on for about eight years from the late 80s onward. Times were sometimes hard and gaining meaningful employment was proving difficult. Every day at 5pm I would walk a mile and a half down the left hand side of the Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush to the Sisters of Mercy in the local chapel. Here I would be provided with a bowl of hot soup and two large sandwiches for 20p. There was always some more if any of us wanted it. Sometimes I wouldn't have the 20p and the Girls would say 'ach sure, you can give it to us when you are working'.

It was in a way a reversal of the Protestant Churches feeding immigrants in Scotland in the late 19th century before Hibernian FC were formed to help the hungry. I used to listen out of courtesy when they would try and win me over to their way of thinking. I used to imagine my old Grandmother sitting on my shoulder giving me pelters.

As soon as I got a job, life became a lot easier. I could quite easily have moved on and forgotten all about the generosity of those Sisters of Mercy, but my Christian beliefs drove me to go back to the church to return the generosity.

I would finish at 4.30 every other Friday and take a dander down the Goldhawk Road with a donation for the Girls, and yes, I still took my soup and sandwich putting the 20p in a different box.

I must say I never experienced any anti Irish racism the whole time I was there. I remember a Celtic supporter from Cork giving me a job even though he knew I was a Rangers fan. He would say 'ach we have to look after our own.' Yes, there were some great times there.

I was over in America for St Patrick's Day about three years ago. I frequented an Irish bar while I was there. The owner was a Dubliner, we got chatting, and after he heard about my love of playing tunes on my penny whistle, he asked me to come down that night and play a few Irish songs for the crowd.

I duly obliged and played whatever was requested, even slipping in a few of my own choice. The next day the owner set me up a lot of free drink and laughed about how I had converted some of his customers to appreciate Orange music.

One of them was called Jane, and I will get back to her later.

A few days later Rangers and Celtic were playing at Ibrox and some of us went along to the Irish bar to watch it. There were about 150 who were supporting Celtic and seven supporting Rangers. It became hot and heavy and I couldn't believe the amount of racist and sectarian abuse being meted out to Rangers players. Darcheville had the ball and a cry went out 'kill that dirty black h** bastard'. I looked around and saw Jane and I almost wished the ground would open up and swallow me.

Jane was a black, American girl who was sitting there in her Celtic top extremely embarrassed.

She rose from her seat and left. Rangers scored and scuffles were breaking out between some Celtic fans, with some targeting us, threatening my wife and looking for trouble.

My new mate, the bar owner, moved quickly to put the worst culprits out, and told them that they only turned up to incite trouble among the crowd, most of whom had never set foot in Scotland.

On the way back to the hotel, I turned to my wife and said "I'm going to write a song to wind up those 'Plastic Paddies'". I was incensed that Scotsmen, sitting supporting Celtic FC, who had never set foot in Ireland, should wish to hi-jack the Famine in order to score political points against the United Kingdom. A few weeks before this, we had used the chant 'why don't you come home, why don't you come home the famine is over why don't you come home'. This seemed to bemuse the people round about us at Ibrox and thought if I changed it to "why don't you go home" then everyone could join in. Rangers fans used the satirical chant in response to the growing popularity of the song about the Famine at Celtic Park, by a largely Scottish football support. I felt, as an Irishman, that this observation by the Rangers' fans of the curious case of Scots singing about their "homeland" of Ireland suffering from a British conspiracy to starve only Catholics, but not Protestants was right up my street.

I decided to use the chant as the basis of my song. I never for a moment thought that it would end up being broadcast all over the world.

Despite the huge attention given to the song, and to the lyrics, I have remained quiet on this, for a number of reasons. I felt for a long time that a silly wee song on YouTube would be forgotten about.

I had confidence that the Scottish legal system to find those arrested for singing it not guilty.

I believed the hate filled activists out to damage Rangers, and the media would find something else to whinge about, and I didn't feel the need to justify myself.

I watched with horror as those activists ensured that someone was jailed for singing the one line chant, on the basis that it related to the words of a song that he'd never sung.

I watched as my club was dragged through the mud due to my song, and I hoped beyond hope that it would go away.

I have tried very hard to keep quiet on this as I believed that it would fizzle out, and that the truth would prevail. I was wrong.

I apologise for the pain my song has caused to Rangers, but not for the content or tone of the song.

There IS a disgusting hypocrisy by most of these Scots singing their songs of the Famine and rebellion, and oppression, and they have taken the worst of Ireland and exported it to a good country which does not deserve it.

Despite the claims of oppression, the Irish Catholic community who came to Scotland were accepted. Those that were qualified to work were employed and made their own way. Those that weren't skilled or qualified that didn't contribute anything, were still taken in and housed. The poorest were fed by Church of Scotland soup kitchens for the poor.

This didn't fit with those who created the bigot factory otherwise known as Celtic Park. You couldn't possibly have Catholics mixing with Protestants, accepting their charity and integrating now, could you?

I had a connection to Glasgow from childhood. This was no distant support of a football team, but a connection forged over many years.

My first memories of Glasgow are from about the age of twelve. I would stay with friends in Rutherglen. The people we stayed with were great Rangers supporters, and apart from the fact that my Grandparents came from a Scottish background, these friends by taking me to a game swayed me to support the club.

Having been exposed to the Troubles, and the level of segregation in Ulster, I liked the fact that the people of Glasgow were friendly to their neighbours and could live side by side no matter what religion. I still attend the games to the present day.

Sadly some British people from outside the United Kingdom seem to be hell bent on destroying the friendship and tolerance that Scotland enjoys.

One of the main culprits is a disturbed individual by the name of Phil McGillivan, although the Scotsman has re-christened himself Phil - The Failed Journalist.

Well known for his Republican sympathies, he seems to dedicate the biggest part of his life to the destruction of Rangers FC and the freedom of expression that Protestants in Scotland enjoy.

One such example of this freedom of expression was the famous song "The Billy Boys" that the Rangers support made so rousing, and so intimidating. It was sung for decades at Rangers games with such gusto, that other football supports made their own versions in imitation.

Words were added and taken away. Of course, the version that stuck was a blistering attack on Irish Republicanism, as the Rangers support sang about being up to their knees in "Fenian blood". While we always knew that we were referring, not to Catholics in general, but to the Fenian Brotherhood, that special breed of Republican who supported sectarian murder gangs.

Clearly, a handful of individuals had a strategy to move the goalposts, with McGillivan being a leading light. There were others, but the bold Phil has been in contact with people of influence with his own particular brand of black propaganda (lies) from the off.

To all intents and purposes, despite the odd whinge from Geraldo McPish and the Odious Creep, both sides were treated largely in the same fashion, rightly or wrongly. When McGillivan and his cohorts started their campaign to complain firstly about The Billy Boys, and then about the "Go Home" song, it transpired all too suddenly that this parity had eroded.

On the day that Rangers were to play Villareal, the front page of the Scottish Sun ran a headline that an organisation called FARE were behind the planned attendance at the match by the UEFA officials responsible for Discipline, and that they were there specifically to listen to instances of sectarian singing. I remember at the time thinking this was the usual tabloid nonsense, but history will tell us that this was a turning point in the parity afforded to the "Old Firm".

Of course Phil claimed this as his own success, and who am I to argue, although I should also give "credit" to those other odious creeps who badgered UEFA with half baked theories, lies and distortion and complained at UEFA's original Not Guilty verdict.

The same happened with the "go home" song. Ironically a complaint was made to the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh, from Ireland by "a Celtic fan" and the story of said complaint was "broken" by Phil. The force of the complaint was that the fan's 10 year old daughter was reduced to tears when her father explained what the song meant. For months afterwards, McGillivan bragged that the wee girl was his - that he was the father. What sort of a human being would put their innocent children in the front line of an argument?

He hounded the family of James McCarthy in an attempt to get a story from his mother with regards to Rangers signing ROI players (or not, as he implied). I am reliably informed that she wasn't too keen, seems she had the measure of him.

I wonder if she told him that James had toured Murray Park just weeks previously with a view to signing, before opting for the safety of Wigan. Maybe that's why he hasn't repeated the allegation that Rangers don't try and sign players from the Republic.

He wrote a book about "preventable deaths" where his research would involve visiting families of the bereaved through suicides etc. I wonder how the families of the people in the Scottish FA, who lost their jobs in the run up to Christmas following his exposé are feeling? Will he visit them if they are feeling suicidal?

I am told that at least one person who sent the joke email is a practising Catholic.

The three employees have been rightly reinstated and at the time of writing this I have to feel for the person who did not appeal the SFA decision. The pressure they and their family were under would have been immense. At the very most if anyone had been offended by the email it should have ended with a quiet word in the employee's ear that they should not be using the companies IT equipment in such a manner and then a line drawn under the whole episode. McGillivan saw fit to push and push and lobby everyone who would fill in and help him with his warped agenda. By his external meddling from afar he has left the SFA in a state of disarray.

Ironic, considering McGillivan himself has accused the Catholic church of covering up child abuse, right to the top as far as Joseph Ratzinger.

That will not matter a jot to McGillivan as he will see that as collateral damage He refers to Scotland as "Bonny Bigotland". That's ok when you are sitting in a country like Ireland, which exterminated 300,000 Protestants from 1641 - 1648. A country which also forced the repatriation of a similar number of Protestants and Jews from the beginning of the 20th Century. Although I'm sure no one has a massive chip on their shoulder over this, we just get on with life. This man's arrogance knows no bounds. He is, in my opinion a bully boy who will manipulate anyone without a second thought. He is suggesting that Scottish media will not employ him because they are racist. If that is the case then why will no decent Newspaper in Ireland touch him either?

I watched him live on a programme broadcast from Dublin a few weeks ago. He tried to lead every topic towards the subject of racism in Scotland. He was, however, surprisingly silent when a girl told of her daughter being racially abused at school in the South of Ireland solely because she was English. Thankfully the local presenter was not taken in by him.

He has stated that he suffers from depression. I'm not sure which type but there is one that goes by the name NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some of the symptoms are

1. An exaggerated sense of importance.

2. Seen as arrogant, confident and self-centred .

3. Plays the victim card and exploits people for personal gain.

Hearts fans sing up to their knees in Hibbies blood. Celtic fans sing 'Paddy McCourt's Fenian army'. McGillivan went running to all and sundry to have my song and others banned without submitting the full facts.

1. The Rangers fans only sing the original song 'Why don't you go home, Why don't you go home, The Famines over, why don't you go home'. This is only banter in direct response to years of listening to songs of famine and oppression. It was not mocking the actual Famine.

2. The song was written by an Irishman. Now as far as I am aware we are not a race. Also, how could I be racist against my own people when my ancestors were probably affected by the Famine too? I have met Irish men from most of the 32 counties and I don't know any who are known by the Irish version of their name except him. Again it is the 'look at me, look at me' syndrome. If you look at an Irish passport application form, I come under category A, i.e. born in the country. McGillivan would come under category B i.e. qualifying through parentage. Who is he to accuse me of anti Irish racism?

In the latest fiasco involving Hugh Dallas he has stated that he had to persuade the Catholic Church to become involved as they were not too keen. This, from someone who had written a strongly worded letter to the Catholic Church seeking excommunication. He continually criticises the Catholic Church and has accused Ratzinger himself of covering up child abuse. He acts with impunity on the Celtic website in his slandering of the Catholic Church. I feel for FranjyFloyd67 and Ghirly who try and defend the Church but are threatened by bans. Someone needs to ask Peter Kearney if he is aware of all this and if he condones McGillivan's accusations. I present some examples below:

Click on this link: http://www.philmacgiollabhain.com/an-irish-gulag/

He often refers to his work when successful as 'bagging a Billy'

Funny thing is I go to watch the Arsenal sometimes which is his favourite team. Martin Keown a past Arsenal player was doing a question and answer session during one of my visits. My mate who is also from Ireland asked him why it was, if his parents came from Ireland, he decided play for England. His response was that his father had always told him, 'Play for the country you were born and brought up in and don't just take from your country, always give something back.' I wonder what McGillivan would have made of that? The three people who cause the most trouble for Rangers on the forum are people who don't even live in UK. They are Celtic fans Mince, Victor Arbuckle and Phil. Mince charges £10 to join his website and there are alleged complaints of the misappropriation of funds. He allegedly is the guy whose Spanish wife wrote to the Mayor of Barcelona complaining about rubbish left on the streets after the Rangers visit. His real name is Scott McM*****. Victor, an Independent Financial Advisor, lives in America, runs a supporters club in Philadelphia and spends all his time digging dirt about Rangers. His real name is Ray McK*****. I have never met a Rangers fan whose whole objective in life is to destroy Celtic.

There is also a newspaper story of a council worker fleeing Glasgow a few years ago. Despite his job being to monitor visits to the housebound, a pensioner in his care passed away. When the police broke down the man's door is seems that the old man had been dead for weeks and that no one had in fact been checking on him. People have tried to find out about this case through the freedom of information act, it seems the powers that be will not release it. I would hate to think that Social Services anywhere in the British Isles would give a job to someone with a dubious past such as this person has.

Perhaps McGillivan is to be pitied, he is aware of his depression as he is the face on the back of a Sunday newspaper bringing awareness of depression to sufferers. Surely whoever treats him could go deeper and find out why he harbours so much hate for Scotland and the UK as a whole. I fear if he is allowed to go unchallenged eventually a self destruct button will be pressed. They say 'he always gets his Billy' and I have been told that he is coming after me. I have nothing to hide and I have received threats before but feel I need to get my side of the story out. The Famine Song or the Dirty Blighters as I named it was a joke with a jag. We have always been able to laugh at ourselves, hence so many Irish jokes world wide. Maybe McGillivan has difficulty accepting this part of the traditional Irish way due to his illness or his warped logic.

I can see a rise in religious tensions in Scotland in the past year with McGillivan at the fore. I would plead with the decent people to pull back, there is nothing he would like more than to see civil unrest or blood on the streets, as he promotes it from his bolt hole in County Donegal. The fact that he is not prepared to stand his ground in Scotland proves to me that he is a coward.

American President Harry S. Truman said 'if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.' However that does not give you the right to go into the house next door and throw your bigotry and bile back over the wall. I do feel however someone should go home. The internet blog beggar who sailed into my country from across the water to use it as his own personal bigotry platform. To spew his bile and hatred across the Irish Sea to our friends and neighbours on the mainland of the British Isles. People over here in Ireland are moving on after much turmoil and we don't need 2nd or 3rd generation Plastic Paddies arriving here with the sole intention of stirring the pot. Evil bigoted attitudes like the one he is displaying need to be consigned to the dustbins of Irish/Scottish history.

So there you have it. While I may be guilty of the odd wind-up song, I am neither a bigot nor a racist. McGillivan, on the other hand is both.








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Bill and Will fame? Bill and Will's fame has passed me by I'm afraid, could you enlighten me. It's an interesting piece although I'm not sure of its veracity.

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Bill and Will fame? Bill and Will's fame has passed me by I'm afraid, could you enlighten me. It's an interesting piece although I'm not sure of its veracity.

From the Vanguard Bears forum 08th March 2011. Or google" the story of the famine song" sorry it is soo long lol, but miss out the song lyrics and it IS interesting readin.

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Read it before, as previous poster stated, i did not know there was a Belfast celtic either.

If it could be shortened then there's no reason why it can't be circulated to greater effect.

Hmmm how do I edit it shorter lol ?

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Good article, not seen that before.

For those who found it too long to read, I understand there are a few good threads about Messi on the sport/other football forum you might be interested in. There is even a thread where you get to pick your bestest football XI.


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1332450643' post='1059891016']

Good article, not seen that before.

For those who found it too long to read, I understand there are a few good threads about Messi on the sport/other football forum you might be interested in. There is even a thread where you get to pick your bestest football XI.



Its a great read and plaudits to the OP for sharing.

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