John Waters

Paddy powerless

They view it through the prism of impotence and historical schadenfreude

In February, I spoke at the first ‘Irexit’ public meeting in Dublin, a discussion about options for Ireland in the event of various eventualities arising from Brexit or some more fundamental disintegration of the EU. Nigel Farage was among the speakers, so what might otherwise have been ignored became the focus of finger-wagging by the media ayatollahs.

Punctuating the speeches were videos about Ireland’s economy, resources, history–in-the-EU and so forth. One featured a classic Irish rock song by the venerable fivesome Horslips, a rock band of the 1970s. The song was ‘Dearg Doom’ (Red Destroyer), which turns on a riff based on an Irish march, ‘O’Neill’s Cavalry’.

After the Irexit event, the band ‘took to’ their Facebook page to dissociate themselves from this borrowing of a tune earlier borrowed by themselves: ‘Some of you may have spotted that the saddos in the Eirexit [sic] conference had the feckin’ temerity to use “Dearg Doom” as a soundtrack and to show the image of the album cover on the big screen. Needless to say, they didn’t ask us. If they had, we’d have pointed out that we wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire — which they’re unlikely to be, anytime soon. Five hundred damp, self-regarding eejits being patronised by the Crazy Frog lookalike Nigel Farage isn’t going to set the heather blazing in the near future.’

‘Horslips stood for a hopeful, outward-looking, inclusive vision of Ireland with plenty of drink and a blue Range Rover. This lot stand for a diminished, fearful, xenophobic state. Little Irelanders.’

The band’s diatribe concluded: ‘Checking out whether we can do them for copyright infringement.’

The media went delirious with mirth and gave Horslips the floor for a week. I’ve known members of the band for decades and up to then had regarded them as a pretty sane bunch.

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