Thanks to the OP for posting. A great read even though i'm familiar with the origins and meaning of Fields of Athenry. Lovely to see it articulated so well though.
I was watching Reeling in the Years, an Irish tv programme in which each episode relays the events which took place nationally and internationally for a specific year. There is no narrator. Instead music from the year is played as a soundtrack to video footage with minimal subtitles describing events. The episode I was watching was 1983. It featured Thatcher's re-election, industrial unrest in Ireland, the US invasion of Grenada etc.
An excerpt of Paddy Reilly's version of The Fields of Athenry was played. I was watching tv on my own and welled up as I listened to it. I was embarrassed that i was listening to this song and actually weeping!! I don't know if it was this innate Irish sense of sadness, outrage and defiance about the oppression suffered by the Irish people over centuries of rule by the British establishment. Kind of like being Liverpudlian working class under successive Tory governments (on steroids) I imagine! Anyway it was spontaneous and real.
The fact that LFC has its own version is something I am so proud of too. A beautiful song (even though it wouldn't be my kind of music normally).
I'm hitting my mid 40s now and have supported Liverpool since 1983 when Ronnie Whelan scored the winner v ManUtd in the League Cup Final. I was a child, perhaps I was glory hunting by following Liverpool but Ronnie Whelan was my hero, is Irish and he played for Liverpool, the best team in England. Why should I be ashamed for tapping into the pride I felt having any sort of connection to that success? If I was a glory hunter then, i'm certainly not one now as I would simply have lost interest in LFC given the length of time that's passed since we last achieved league glory.
My son is 13 and an avid LFC supporter and I've told him he's a better fan than me because he's never really seen LFC achieve success and when it does come along it will be so much sweeter for him than it is for his Man United, Chelsea or Man City supporting pals (although he has a few LFC pals too). No one can ever accuse him of being a glory hunter by following Liverpool given the other clubs he could have chosen to support and the success they've achieved throughout his entire childhood.
I do feel a strong connection to the city of Liverpool. I believe the people of Liverpool are more like Irish people in humour and outlook than anywhere else i've ever been to or heard of.
I'm proud to be associated with LFC and its links to Ireland and will continue to support MY club for as long as I live.
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