‘The Island’ by Paul Brady (1985)
County Tyrone native Paul Brady used his song ‘The Island’ to draw some comparisons between the Troubles and the civil war in Lebanon that began in 1975. A pacifistic song highlighting the tragedy of the cycles of violence that Ireland had been experiencing for centuries, it contrasts the peaceful image of a couple making love on an island with acts of terrorism and war.
The Island (Paul Brady)
They say the skies of Lebanon are burning.
Those mighty cedars bleeding in the heat.
They’re showing pictures on the television.
Women and children dying in the street
And we’re still at it in our own place.
Still trying to reach the future through the past.
Still trying to carve tomorrow from a tombstone…
But Hey! Don’t listen to me!.
This wasn’t meant to be no sad song.
We’ve heard too much of that before.
Right now I only want to be here with you.
Till the morning dew comes falling.
I want to take you to the island.
And trace your footprints in the sand.
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’ll make love to the sound of the ocean
They’re raising banners over by the markets
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown
No way our holy flag is gonna fall
Up here we sacrifice our children
To feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday
And teach them dying will lead us into glory…
Now I know us plain folks don’t see all the story.
And I know this peace and love’s just copping out.
And I guess these young boys dying in the ditches.
Is just what being free is all about.
And how this twisted wreckage down on main street.
Will bring us all together in the end.
And we’ll go marching down the road to freedom….
Songwriters: Geoffrey Downes / Trevor Charles Horn
The Island lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group