Tag Archives: Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard

Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard

Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard

Along the Western Seaboard

A harp gently opens Along the Western Seaboard,  the second song on Declan O’Rourke’s Chronicle of the Irish Famine. An equally gentle acoustic guitar joins the harp.


And that is the album’s artful approach. If one didn’t understand English and only had the melody, one could easily misinterpret the content’s message: we begged but no one listened.


And all along the western seaboard they await with open hands

For something to feed their children, or a ship to foreign lands

But there’s nothing here to give them, except for chicken feed and sand.

While Britannia rules the roost with iron hands

Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard

The Irish population was  80% Catholic and naturally it turned to their parish priest for succor.  He in turn asked the Lord…


Lord what can we do now, oh good lord what can we do

When we need to feed so many, and there’s not even for the few 

Lord what can we do now, oh good lord what can we do

They are starving! They are freezing! And their clothes have all worn through.

Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard
Declan O'Rourke Along Western Seaboard
Daniel O’Connell

Since little help seemingly came from above, those on terra firma did their best. The Great Emancipator Daniel O’Connell said to the House of Commons at the Famine’s height in 1847: 


Ireland is in your hands, in your power. If you do not save her, she cannot save herself. I solemnly call upon you to recollect that I predict with the sincerest conviction that a quarter of her population will perish unless you come to her relief.

Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard

The common view  by those “with” was that the poor had brought about their own situation. Thus they deserved their misfortune and British assistance meant many strings attached.

Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard

For the start of this review series, see Declan O’Rourke Chronicles Irish Famine which covers the album’s first song, “Clogman’s Glen.”


Link to a London Celtic Punks site article which includes a performance of Clogman’s Glen.


Declan O’Rourke Along Western Seaboard


 

Please follow and like us: