Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A fuckin' hero...

How's that for a title? LOL.

I just got back for the gym.  Weights tonight.  I usually work out to my "Flogging molly" channel on Pandora.  Celtic Folk and Irish Rock is great music to work out to, whether doing cardio or strength training.  For cardio, it has some of the most hard-driving, up-lifting, foot-slamming, hand-clapping beats you could ask for.  Basically? It's impossible to feel fatigue when listening to Irish music.  For weight/strength training?  The bests are fine, but the THEMES are really what get you.  Good Irish music has some of the darkest, angriest, most bitter lyrics, chronicling their centuries of exploitation, suffering, violence and strife.  They laugh at death, while cursing their life, all the while singing about the cruelest injustices, mixed with powerful patriotic poetry and a love for country and fellow man, juxtaposed with the irony that some much of the recent violence against the Irish has been perpetrated... by the Irish.  Anyway... if the beat doesn't get your adrenaline flowing, the fighting words surely will. 

So for now, I'm hooked.

Anyway, tonight I heard a song that I'd never heard before, and it was like: STOP EVERYTHING.  I had to find out what it was, and who it was by.  It's called Luang Prabang (which is a place in Laos) and it's by Dave Van Ronk.  Anything I could say about it was pretty much summed up by some of the top YouTube comments on the version that I've embedded below:
Powerful..

~scrip7ki77y
 
Awesome! Reminds me of some of the darker Irish rebellion chants. Excellent.

~skelotan

my new task is to make sure this song is more well known.

~shaunathan05
Mine too, shaunathan, mine too.  So here goes.  (BTW, I've got a little bit more to say about it, so after you listen, please keep reading.)



Van Ronk himself described this as "An imperialist love song, and a protest against wimpy anti-war songs." And to that? I say, "Fuck, yeah!"

And I am reminded of something in its combination of powerful anti-war sentiment, while at the same calling for one to honor the fallen and broken soldiers - both in the ironic way that we do now, which the song parodies, but simultaneously with all due sincerity as well. Which, let's face it, we don't. Not when we send our boys on pointless boondoggles around the world, whether it's fighting to secure oil reserves, or merely interfering in another country's internal politics. Our near-schizophrenic hypocrisy regarding the principle of self-determination which we once stood for (and still claim to, whenever it's convenient for us) has cost us more blood and treasure than any post World War Two enemy could ever dream to. All we have to fear is fear itself, was right. We really should have listened.

What it reminds me off was a powerful statement made during the height of the Iraq and Afghan War but the former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. She ordered that all flags be lowered to half staff every time a soldier from Michigan was killed. Needless to say that for a good year or two, those flags were down at least once a week. And it sent a powerful statement. It reminded up, every time, of the cost of the insane foreign policy pursued by the Cheney/Bush administration, while at the same time, unequivocally honoring our fallen soldiers. It drove the pro-war crowd abso-fucking-lutely NUTS! And yet they couldn't say a damn thing about it, could they! Because they're always the ones accusing LIBERALS of "hating the troops" or whatever. So who among them was going to be stupid enough to suggest that we STOP honor these fallen men?

I loved it. Probably the best thing she did the whole time she was in office.

Anyway, this song kind of reminds me of that. It reminds us that anti-war is hardly anti-military and that the desire for peace is felt the strongest only by the strongest among us.

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BTW... here's a more haunting, melodic version by Patrick Sky.  Full lyrics posted there as well, if you're interested.

3 comments:

  1. I think my wife liked to work out to Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphies. I'm more of a Clancy brothers fan though, and there is nothing better then riding a bike listening to Johnny Mceldoo...

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  2. I'm a HUGE Clancy Brother fan actually! Tommy Maken too - even though he looked like a 200 pound leprechaun. LOL. The Clancy's served as my introduction into Celtic Folk music. They totally Rock. And... there's something deliciously ironic about working out to the greatest anthem to gluttony ever written! LOL. (Johnny McEldoo was one of first tongue-twister Irish songs that I learned how to sing.)

    And while I'm a HUGE fan of Flogging Molly, I'm completely indifferent about the Dropkick Murphy's. I don't know why, because they ARE similar. I guess I just Molly as having a bit more Celtic Folk and the Murphy's as having a bit more true Punk / hard Rock. But for whatever reason, I love one and could care less about the other. Kind of weird, I guess.

    Thanks for you comment.

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  3. Stumbled across your blog looking for Van Ronk's quote about this song, and I had to say that I agree with your sentiments. I get a lot of flack for being anti-war, which *is* often mistaken for anti-military. I am a huge supporter of our soldiers and veterans. And a big part of that is not wanting to support sending them off to "sacrifice for our freedom". In addition I like Flogging Molly but don't like Dropkick Murphy.. not enough Celtic/folk sound for me! :) But thank you for writing this. :)

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