Nov 9, 2010

Does the maFFia speak to our tribal heritage?

I find it amazing that Kevin Myers of the Indo claims that Fianna Fáil aka Those Assholes aka The MaFFia speaks to a tribal memory and that is why we'll never be rid of them. Indeed Myarse compares their potential loss to the holocaust. For that remark Myarse earns an automatic Godwin obviously.

I want to challenge the idea that the maFFia speak to tribal memory. The Soldiers of Destiny made a conscious decision to appropriate the imagery of the ancient warriors the Fianna. It's why Dev chose the name Fianna Fáil. He wanted to harken back to the good old days when the fianna consisted of bands of landless men for hire as mercenaries or bandits. The myths surrounding the fianna are mythical - full of hyperbole. Amazing feats of strength and magic etc were part of the membership criteria. What is less known is the candidate also had to be a skilled poet.

Most Irish people have heard the legends and there is something romantic about the notion of highly fit and learned demi gods running around hunting in the ancient forests of Fál (leaving aside for the moment that these skilled killers were led by man who forced a woman to flee to escape repeated rape through marriage).

After centuries of colonialism, Dev and his cronies wanted an image that invoked the image of a proud and strong country and Fianna Fáil became the name of the new political party. The Soldiers of Density Destiny were born.

The Soldiers' Song, which had been around for a while before Dev raided the past, became the national anthem, despite some initial confusion
Yes I know this is Alan Rickman and not Dev

Mr. HUGHES: I am not aware that at recent State functions Army bands have played two different tunes purporting to be the National Anthem.
Mr. ESMONDE: Does the Minister refuse to answer the last part of my question? Does he refuse to state what is the National Anthem, or if the matter is not finally settled what tune should be provisionally accepted as such pending a final decision?
Mr. JOHNSON: Can the Minister give us any definition of what is a National Anthem?
Mr. ESMONDE: There is considerable hilarity in the House which I think is not creditable. I would ask the Minister if, in his own Department solely as regards the Army, seeing that the President is not here, for reasons for which we have all respect, he would [2198] state, at any rate as far as the Army is concerned, what is considered to be the National Anthem?
Mr. HUGHES: The “Soldier's Song.”

Indeed the official version is in English. It was only in the 30s that the Irish version became the norm. The first line of the Irish translation written by Liam Ó Rinn, was Sinne fianna fáil as we all know. This was controversial way back when though because it politicised the national anthem.

Much controversy has surrounded this but Dev was not involved in the translation of the song. By all accounts, his Irish was pretty hit and miss when it came to accuracy. Fianna Fáil and Sinne fianna fáil was a coincidence. In fact, it caused some embarrassment to the new FF party, which leads one to conclude that their necks were not always made of brass.

Steps were taken to change it to Sinne laochra fáil which means the same thing but without the tacit endorsement of the Dev party. It was an attempt to separate the institution of the state from political opportunism.

At the next opportunity, Dev changed the first line back Sinne fianna fáil . Fine Gael made two other attempts with laochra but each time Dev would change the words again.

I think that might have something to do with Myarse's doubtful assertions of a tribal call. Also I think the Irish Press, propaganda machine extraordinaire might have played a role too.

Sinne fianna fáil - We are the soldiers of destiny
Sinne Fianna Fáil - We are Fianna Fail

Can anyone name another country that has an identifiable political party's name in the first line of its national anthem? I know I can't.

The maFFia stole and appropriated our heritage and legends. And an experienced journo like Myarse states that the maFFia speaks to our tribal heritage on national radio. Ooopsies Myarse.

Boot out the FFers. They failed this country in every way.

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