Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wings: Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While I only have a modicum of Irish blood in my ancestry, we are all Irish on St. Paddy’s Day. I’m wondering why I’ve never featured Wings’ controversial song “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” until now – so I guess now is the best time. While naturally it was a #1 record in Ireland, it was banned by the British Broadcasting Corporation, but still managed to chart at #16 on the UK charts.

The song was written by Paul and Linda McCartney and recorded by Wings within two days following the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry, Northern Ireland on January 30, 1972.  Due to the controversy in the UK, EMI Records did not want the record released, but Paul McCartney insisted and so it was. In addition to the BBC, Radio Luxembourg also banned it as well as Independent Television Authority in Britain.

In the US, the public did not warm-up to the record as did the public in other countries. When it was released in 1972, it was a single only release – like several of the band’s singles of that era. “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” did not appear on an album until issued as a bonus track on the CD version of Wings’ first LP: “Wild Life.” The flip side, an instrumental version of the same tune, was not included.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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