Monday, March 28, 2011

Men behind the Wire

Paddy McGuigan is an Irish musician who played for some years with the folk group Barleycorn. He has written some Irish rebel songs, including The Men Behind the Wire, The Boys of the Old Brigade, and Irish Soldier Laddie.

McGuigan wrote The Men Behind the Wire in the aftermath of internment in Northern Ireland. The song describes raids by British soldiers, and the "men behind the wire" refers to those held without charge or trial at Long Kesh prison camp, Magilligan prison camp and on board the Maidstone Prison Ship. McGuigan himself was picked up in a later round of internment, which some saw as the British State's revenge for writing the song.
British singer/songwriter Dido in her song 'Let's Do the Things We Normally Do' from the album 'Safe Trip Home' used a few lines from The Men Behind The Wire. This included the lyrics "Armoured cars and tanks and guns, came to take away our sons. But every man must stand behind, the men behind the wire."
A loyalist tune appeared called YCV Brigade which plagiarized lyrics from The Boys of the Old Brigade and also used the tune of Wild Colonial Boy.

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