Song for the Refugee. By Randall Stephen Hall ©
You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzZtpCKYmkU
Lyrics below this short article.
Firstly I must thank Mr. Paddy McGarvey for commissioning me to illustrate thisIrish Parliament Trust Map in 1998. For giving me such a free hand and the opportunity to help visualise the possibility of a different peaceful future.
The original can be found high up on a wall above arched windows, behind the reference section’s welcoming counter, where you will always be guided to the book source you seek. Three flights up stone steps. Up past the café and a winding stair case, to a small forest of books and a great view of Belfast’s City Hall.
I’ve used my map with my song because where it has been placed (as good as that is), renders it invisible. The viewer is unable to see why the map was created or what story it is telling. They only see an out of focus map that only speaks with the quietest of voices.
A whispering map in a wonderful place, full of history, culture, coffee and good carrot cake.
Yet in the map sits an imaginary all Ireland Parliament Building. If you would like to know more about how the map came about you can email me at email@example.com. It is an interesting story.
We are often caught here, between the polar opposites, the bulk of whom do not represent us the majority of people, who have a great desire for peace, positive politics and a normal existence. Where we can see past all the cultural, political, educational and religious barriers which still keep us divided.
My children tell me that The Troubles are over. Local Arts Programmes tell me that I’m living in a “post conflict” Northern Ireland and yet almost every structure that caused the Troubles in the first place, still exists. For all our struggles we are more polarised now than we were in the late 1960s and we huddle in equally divided communities, unless of course, we are Middle Class. But that’s another story.
Between these two political and cultural extremes I imagine a wonderful grassy mound. Mysterious and open. Full of positive, useful ideas, especially on an individual level. Around the mound lie ancient decorated sealed ceramic pots, full of unplanted seeds. The mound and these seedlings wait for a cultural Spring, for water, for a new soil and for the light of dawn, as does Newgrange, year on year, but at the winter Solstice.
All this life, this new growth, this friendship, this love, slowly finds its way into our lives here. The green tendrils catch around our good selves and encourage us to make contact amongst everyone here. Beyond fear. For as refugees we have all come here at some point in our past. As refugees we have received nourishment, if only from a watered landscape, from the clouds above.
As refugees we have found favour, found help, found acceptance and for those who think they have never found it, that gift is still there, close at hand. If I didn’t feel like a religious and cultural refugee I could have never written this song.
THE GREEN AND BLUE. Song for the Refugee.
The Green and Blue.
By Randall Stephen Hall ©
A film/song/poem about the cultural region of Ireland and Scotland
from the point of view of an outsider. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzZtpCKYmkU
Oh I hear your words
Rising like the sun.
Far across the fields.
For the move as one.
Lining up like men
With their horses strong.
They will gather up
All their strength for song.
Oh these words I take
From this magic bag.
My sword and shield.
They are all I have.
But they’ll fight for me
Just like Finn MacCool.
They are like a spear
I will throw for you.
Oh Ireland, oh Ireland.
Oh Cathleen Ni Hoolihan.
Oh Ireland and Scotland too.
When will I see your green and blue?
But there’s more to this
Not just words you see.
Not just Ireland, for it’s you and me.
I am here you know
Like I’ve always been.
My two wee legs, standing with the green.
Oh let me in, I am here so long.
Oh, add my tunes all to your song.
Oh harmony, oh harmony.
Oh let you love, just encircle me.
Chorus. Repeat . . .
Oh Ireland, when will I see you?
Oh Ireland . . .