Thursday, February 17, 2005

Stop the Madness - Pave the Fields of Athenry, Put Up a Parking Lot

At about a quarter to eight this morning, Ian Dempsey played a single on his radio show that he reckons will go to number one in the Irish charts when it's released next week. It's for the Christina Noble Children's Charity, and it features Christina herself, backed by the Irish rugby team and some generic disco beat, singing "The Fields of Athenry."

It's the worst thing I've ever heard, and I've heard Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh say "and it's heartbreak for Mayo!" more times than you've had hot dinners. It's just appalling, appalling. It symbolises everything that's bad about post-Catholic, Tiger II, SSIAs on the Way Ireland. It's awful, awful, awful. Horrible.

And since when did The Fields of Athenry become the anthem of Irish rugby, by the way? The Munster hordes sing it even though their authentic anthem is the very fine "There is an Isle," and those of you whose rugby memories extend beyond Brian O'Driscoll may remember when Lansdowne Road used to sway to the Alive Alive Oh's of Molly Malone.

I think the Fields of Athenry is a very fine song but familiarity breeds contempt and, after hearing Christina croaking out her verison to the boom boom disco beat, the sooner those freebirds fly away as far as they can the happier I'll be.