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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Irish Election Campaign Songs April 6, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Looking into this first and I thought there would be fairly rich pickings but after much searching and reading there wasn’t really that much and most of it is that awful Country n Irish style.
In 1977 Fianna Fail released Colm C.T. Wilkinson singing “You’re Kind of Country”, it was an attempt to get the youth vote. This was the first General Election since the voting age had been reduced to 18.
This clip from RTE gives a report about the song from RTEs Election 77 coverage

Probably the most famous was The Morrisseys ‘Rise and Follow Charlie’ from 1981.
Of course music has a rich tradition and history in politics and struggle, but thats for another day. A few local examples from The Left …..

The Workers Party Youth Songbook is available here

and the Songs of Irish Labour site

So back to elections …. Nowadays most parties or candidates tend to use theme songs ,”Things can only get better”, U2s “Beautiful Day” and there were many cases in the US Presidential Election where artists protested at certain candidates using their songs.
So here we are a small selection of Irish Election Campaign songs…. with “The Red Flag” also
If anyone knows of older Irish election campaign songs or if theres a history of them somehwere I’d love to know as I scoured some books as well as the net looking for more information.

Mattie McGraths 2007 song

John Brackens 2011 song


1. sonofstan - April 6, 2013

‘Don’t Make the Wrong Choice – Vote Alan Kelly’ or ‘The Alan Kelly Rap’ was a minor obsession of a member of my household in the lead up to the Euros in 2009, but its creators (or its object?) appear to have second thoughts, because the vidjo has vanished from the internets.


irishelectionliterature - April 6, 2013

Yeah it was on my list but couldn’t find it.
Was terribly tempted to abandon this weekends theme and just put the Sawdoctors “To win just once” up with a rant about Rovers! …. The PA played it on the way out of Tallaght last night!


2. WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2013

Odd that SoS.

An interesting list IEL. Very interesting.

I’ll probably never get the Bieber/Gallagher one out of my head. Ever.


3. John Cunningham - April 7, 2013

This weekend I was mostly listening to … radio documentaries on themes of labour & class, recently made available as podcasts by RTE. I’ve now catalogued and linked to about 60 of them, dealing with everything from Magdalens to Jim Gralton, newsboys to bootboys, Communist Party of Ireland to factory closures. They’re all linked here on the facebook page of the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class:


irishelectionliterature - April 8, 2013

Brilliant thanks John, that’s a great resource.


4. John O'Neill - April 8, 2013

I remember Lenihan’s campaign using Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’ later the anthem of the UDA.

The WPY songbook has an error that was pointed ot to me years ago Bandiera Rosa – Rosa, is Pink – Rossa or Rossi.


5. John O'Neill - April 8, 2013

Sorry last sentence should have after Rossa or Rossi is Red


6. This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… More Campaign Songs | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - April 12, 2014

[…] previously done a post on some Irish Election Campaign Songs. Here going further afield to the Antipodes , France, Chile and the […]


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