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Come Out Ye Black And Tans

Dominic Behan / Doiminic Ó Beacháin
Lingua: Inglese

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McCafferty
(anonimo)
McAlpine's Fusiliers
(The Dubliners)


[1930 ca.]
Lyrics and Music by Dominic Behan
Testo e musica di Dominic Behan

Dublino, 1920: Le forze di repressione inglesi. Un poliziotto metropolitano dublinese tra due ausiliari e, a sinistra, un Black and Tan.
Dublino, 1920: Le forze di repressione inglesi. Un poliziotto metropolitano dublinese tra due ausiliari e, a sinistra, un Black and Tan.


In Italia (ed anche altrove) pochi, probabilmente, sapevano dell'esistenza e delle "prodezze" dei Black and Tans, le bande paramilitari prima impiegate nella repressione in Palestina e poi impiegate negli anni '20 in Irlanda. Se qualcuno adesso ne sa qualcosa in più, lo si deve al grande Ken Loach e al suo recente film The Wind That Shakes The Barley (titolo infedelmente reso in italiano con Il vento che accarezza l'erba). Nel film, incentrato proprio sulla repressione in Irlanda negli anni '20, e in modo particolare delle atrocità commesse dei Black and Tans, bande di veri e propri criminali di guerra organizzati in reparti, reclutati da Winston Churchill e Lloyd George in persona. Sui Black and Tans si veda il completo articolo di en.wikipedia.

Dominic Behan.
Dominic Behan.
Come Out Ye Black and Tans (sometimes Black and Tan) is an Irish rebel song referring to the Black and Tans, the British paramilitary police auxiliary force in Ireland during the 1920s. The song was written by Dominic Behan as a tribute to his father Stephen.

The lyrics are rich with references to the history of Irish nationalism and the activities of the British army throughout the world. While the title of the song refers to the Black and Tans of the War of Independence era, the specific context of the song is a dispute between Irish Republican and loyalist neighbours in inner city Dublin in the 1930s. The actual term "Black and Tan" originated from the lack of coordination of the British army with their uniforms. The troops stationed in Killeshandra wore a mix of black uniforms and tan (khaki) uniforms.

The song begins, "I was born in Dublin street, where the loyal drums did beat and the loving English feet they walked all over us". The narrator's father, coming home from the pub, "would invite the neighbours out" with this chorus;

Come out ye Black and Tans
come out and fight me like a man
show your wife how you won medals out in Flanders
tell her how the IRA made you run like hell away
from the green and lovely lanes in Killeshandra.

The reference to Flanders alludes to the neighbour's service in the British Army in the First World War. Killeshandra is a town in West Cavan likely to have been the scene of a successful IRA operation during the War of Independence. The service of the British Army in colonial wars against the Arabs and Zulus is also mocked, as the "natives" had "spears and bow and arrows" while the British "bravely faced each one, with your 16 pounder gun". The reference to "Arabs" probably refers to the counter insurgency campaign fought by the British against Arab guerrillas in the contemporary British Mandate of Palestine. Many of the actual Black and Tans served in Palestine after their time in Ireland.

The song goes on to describe the neighbour's previous gloating at the defeats of Irish nationalism, "when you thought us well and truly persecuted", for instance, when they "slandered great Parnell". However alongside the bitterness evoked in such sentiments is a triumphalism, borne of the fact that loyalists are a small minority in post-independence Ireland. The narrator asks, "where are the sneers and jeers, that you loudly let us hear, when our leaders of '16 were executed?". The implication is that the neighbours, no longer backed by the British state, no longer have confidence to express such sentiments in public.

The song closes on a hopeful note, promising that the time is coming when, "all traitors will be cast aside before us". The narrator promises that his children will say "God Speed" [i.e. go home], with the same song that his father used to sing to his loyalist neighbours.


windthat
I was born on a Dublin street where the Royal drums do beat
And the loving English feet they tramped all over us,
And each and every night when me father'd come home tight
He'd invite the neighbors outside with this chorus:

Oh, come out you black and tans,
Come out and fight me like a man
Show your wife how you won medals fown in Flanders
Tell them how the IRA
Made you run like hell away,
From the green and lovely lanes in Killeshandra.

Come let me hear you tell
How you slammed the great Pernell,
When you fought them well and truly persecuted,
Where are the smears and jeers
That you bravely let us hear
When our heroes of sixteen were executed.

Oh, come out you black and tans,
Come out and fight me like a man
Show your wife how you won medals fown in Flanders
Tell them how the IRA
Made you run like hell away,
From the green and lovely lanes in Killeshandra.

Come tell us how you slew
Those brave Arabs two by two
Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows,
How you bravely slew each one
With your sixteen pounder gun
And you frightened them poor natives to their marrow.

Oh, come out you black and tans,
Come out and fight me like a man
Show your wife how you won medals fown in Flanders
Tell them how the IRA
Made you run like hell away,
From the green and lovely lanes in Killeshandra.

The day is coming fast
And the time is here at last,
When each yeoman will be cast aside before us,
And if there be a need
Sure my kids wil sing, "Godspeed!"
With a verse or two of Stephen Behan's chorus.

Oh, come out you black and tans,
Come out and fight me like a man
Show your wife how you won medals fown in Flanders
Tell them how the IRA
Made you run like hell away,
From the green and lovely lanes in Killeshandra.

inviata da Riccardo Venturi - 18/5/2007 - 15:42



Lingua: Italiano

Versione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
18 maggio 2007
VENITE FUORI, BLACK AND TANS

Sono nato in una via di Dublino dove battono i tamburi Reali
E dove gli amorevoli piedi inglesi ci calpestavano tutti quanti.
Ogni notte, ma dico tutte, quando mio padre rientrava ubriaco
Chiamava fuori il vicinato cantando questo coretto:

Oh, venite fuori, Black and Tans,
Venite fuori e battetevi con me da uomini
Fate vedere alle vostre mogli come vi siete guadagnati le medaglie nelle Fiandre,
Raccontate loro come l’IRA
Vi ha fatti scappare a gambe levate
Dai verdi e bei vicoli di Killeshandra.

Forza, fatemi sentirvi raccontare
Come avete pestato a sangue il grande Pernell,
Quando li avete combattuti e veramente perseguitati,
E dove sono tutte le fanfaronate
Che ci avete imperterriti fatti sentire
Quando venivano fucilati i nostri eroi del '16.

Oh, venite fuori, Black and Tans,
Venite fuori e battetevi con me da uomini
Fate vedere alle vostre mogli come vi siete guadagnati le medaglie nelle Fiandre,
Raccontate loro come l’IRA
Vi ha fatti scappare a gambe levate
Dai verdi e bei vicoli di Killeshandra.

Su, forza, raccontateci di come avete annazzato
Quei coraggiosi arabi, a due per volta,
Che come gli Zulù avevano lance, archi e frecce.
Diteci con quale coraggio le avete ammazzati tutti
Coi vostri cannoni con pezzi da sedici libbre
Terrorizzando i poveri nativi fino al midollo.

Oh, venite fuori, Black and Tans,
Venite fuori e battetevi con me da uomini
Fate vedere alle vostre mogli come vi siete guadagnati le medaglie nelle Fiandre,
Raccontate loro come l’IRA
Vi ha fatti scappare a gambe levate
Dai verdi e bei vicoli di Killeshandra.

Verrà presto il giorno,
Anzi il tempo è già arrivato
In cui ogni nobilastro ci verrà tolto dai coglioni,
E se ce n’è bisogno
Di certo I miei figli canteranno “Addio!”
con una strofa o due del coretto di Stephen Behan.

Oh, venite fuori, Black and Tans,
Venite fuori e battetevi con me da uomini
Fate vedere alle vostre mogli come vi siete guadagnati le medaglie nelle Fiandre,
Raccontate loro come l’IRA
Vi ha fatti scappare a gambe levate
Dai verdi e bei vicoli di Killeshandra.

18/5/2007 - 16:27


i nostri eroi del '16 non i nostri eroi di sedici anni...si riferisce all'Easter Rising del 1916
(Tia)

Grazie, Tia, per la segnalazione; abbiamo immediatamente provveduto a correggere la traduzione. Purtroppo molte inesattezze sfuggono, e cogliamo l'occasione sia per ringraziare tutte le frequentatrici e frequentatori del nostro sito per segnalarcele, sia per invitare chiunque, se se ne sente in grado, ad effettuare traduzioni alternative. [CCG/AWS Staff]

30/11/2008 - 16:10


I wouldn't call this an anti-war song at all. And the English commentary is 50% paraphrase. In quotes, but still. Lol

faquarl - 8/10/2016 - 11:14


Dear Faquarl, we wouldn't call this a commentary at all; our site isn't made for simple and Twitter-like statements of personal opinions. If you don't think this is an antiwar song, please explain why you don't think so and your opinion will be welcome. The English commentary has been reproduced from a different page, but your commentary, if any, could be used as a deeper introduction to this song. Thank you.

CCG/AWS Staff - 8/10/2016 - 11:50



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