"Easter" as written by Patti Lee Smith and Jay Daugherty....
A ghost of a mist was on the field
The grey and the Green together
The noise of a distant farm machine
Out of the first light came
A tatered necklace of hedge and trees
On the southern side of the hill
Betrays where the border runs between
Where Mary Dunoon's boy fell
Easter here again
A time for the Blind to see
Surely now can all of your hearts be free
Out of the port of Liverpool
Bound for the North of Ireland
The wash of the spray and horsetail waves
The roll of the sea below
And Easter here again
A time for the Blind to see
Surely now can all of your hearts be free
What will you do?
Make a stone of your Heart?
Will you set things right
When you tear them apart?
Will you sleep at night
With the Plough and the Stars alight?
What will you do?
With the wire & the gun?
That'll set things right
When it's said and done?
Will you sleep at night?
Is there so much love to hide?
Sing 'Never again'

Lyrics submitted by BitterBosh

"Easter" as written by Ian Mosley Mark Kelly

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Easter song meanings
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    General CommentA beautiful song. Makes me feel all emotional...
    iexertinertiaon January 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningFrom the website: marillion.baldyslaphead.co.uk/albums/Seasons/…

    Introduction: From the liner notes of Six Of One, Steve Hogarth said: "It was February '89. I had been with the band for about three weeks. We were at the Music Farm, near Brighton, Sussex. I had this red plastic bucket full of cassettes and tambourines. In the evenings we would listen to any half-formed musical ideas we had written during the days. If we were stuck for inspiration Mark would ask me if there was anything in the bucket... I'd written this song about a year before, in early '88, but never got beyond chorus 2 until the band got hold of it... I was thinking of the 'The Skye Boat Song' and I wanted Easter to be like that, but like an anthem for Ireland. It's not a political song, it's a love song - a tribute to the warmth of the Irish spirit, a message of hope and support to the great majority of people who want nothing to do with the gunmen (all the gunmen) but must, nonetheless, raise their children amidst a climate of potential violence. I referred to Yeats' poem Easter 1916... more out of reverence to his genius than out of plagiarism... honest!"

    From: July 1992 (no. 155) issue of Record Collector by Linda La Ban: " 'I was trying to rewrite the Skye Boat Song,' Hogarth smiles, humming that folk song. 'I'm not Irish but I had been at college with a guy who had grown up on the Falls Road, and living with him hammered home the reality of the Irish situation. I wanted to write a song for the Irish people, 99% of whom hate the struggle and want nothing to do with it. They are quite happy to live in peace together, and yet there are these terrorists who perpetuate violence, and I sometimes wonder to what extent it's about money rather than freedom. I just wanted to write a song of hope, a little love song for the people who are stuck in the middle of it. It is, after all, real people getting murdered.'"

    Paul Hughes sent the following through: "The poem is Easter 1916 by William Butler Yeats, taken from his anthology Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1921), a lot of which is about the euphemistically-titled 'troubles'. "

    The names mentioned towards the end are prominent figure in the Republican uprising, including James Connolly, who came from Edinburgh and in whose name there is still a march through the city every year.

    Pears Cyclopedia: "William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Irish lyric poet and playwright, born near Dublin, a leader of the Irish literary revival."

    ‘The grey and the green’
    This particular phrase appears to have troubled many people, myself included. It seems that many people on Freaks were convinced (particularly since New Model Army have a song entitled The Valleys of The Green and The Grey), that the phrase means something other than the simple mist/ field symbolism. P. T. McNiff posted about the symbolism of the Tricolour colours in the explanations for Forgotten Sons, so many of us imagined that the ‘green’ was the same here (Catholic), but didn’t know what the grey referred to.

    The general opinion about the NMA song, was that it was about old Yorkshire industrial towns, like Huddersfield or Halifax, and the effect of people leaving the rural villages to work in these depressing towns; certainly not an image that could be associated with Easter. It seems that maybe it was just a simple image of the fog on the field.

    ‘Mary Dunoon’
    Dunoon is a typical Irish name one might find in all kinds of religion and political parties, and is probably a symbol for the line that was drawn is Ireland, which caused the death of so many Irish sons, so Mary Dunoon is a fictitious name, a symbol for all the mothers in Ireland.

    Robert Maitland added, "Dunoon is a town on the Cowal peninsula in Argyll, Scotland. It is not an Irish surname. It means fort on the green hill. The Scots (or Gaels) originally came from the north of Ireland and their Kingdom in what is now Scotland, was Dalriada.

    "The modern name for Dalriada is Argyll (in Gaelic, Earra Ghaidheal meaning land of the Gael). All this makes it more puzzling as why a song about Ireland should include someone with a Scottish place name for a surname. I suspect that being English they assumed it was Irish. There are a lot of place names and surnames that are similar in both Ireland and Western Scotland.


    Of course, Mark is Irish, not English.

    Steve Ross posted an article from The Web USA - Issue # 8 - November 1994, pg.44 (Itself a reprint of an Interview with Steve Hogarth by Martin Jansen and Patrick van der Splinter, The Web Holland - July 13, 1994/Rotterdam):

    "Web: And does the line "...where the border runs between/where Mary Dunoon's boy fell" refer to the division of Ireland?
    "Hogarth: Yes, and it's fiction. I mean I deliberately didn't use an actual case of someone having lost a son, but I'm referring to the grief of a mother who loses a son as a result of the troubles over there."

    ‘Out of the port of Liverpool, Bound for the North of Ireland’
    Liverpool being the usual port for the North, Holyhead in Wales being the one for Dublin.

    ‘What will you do. . . ’
    This is a direct allusion to the poem. Martijn Buijs sent the following from the Grolier CD Encyclopedia: "Easter Rising: The Easter Rising, an Irish insurrection against British rule, took place in Dublin in April 1916. (actually April 24 - Ed) It was led by members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (earlier known as Fenians). Most of the participants were members of the Irish Volunteers, a paramilitary force formed during the crisis over the home rule bill of 1912 and sustained by disappointment over the postponement of home rule for the duration of World War I. The rising was unpopular and was suppressed within a week, although subsequent executions of 15 of its leaders, including the writer Patrick Pearse, evoked widespread sympathy, which worked to the political benefit of the Irish nationalist movement Sinn Fein."

    Among those who survived was Michael Collins, the man who went on to invent urban terrorism, and the first leader of the IRA, and who features in the eponymous film with Liam Neeson. However - beware; a few parts bear no more relation to actual history than does most of Braveheart!

    ‘Plough and the Stars alight?’
    Phil 'Amerillo' Rotherham said: "This was a flag used to represent the Irish Citizens Army during the 1916 uprising. (It is also referred to the Starry Plough)."

    I then found the following link geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1648/…, from which the following has been adapted:
    "In 1913 police attacked striking workers who were demonstrating in Dublin, killing two. Trade union leaders decided to establish a paramilitary organisation - the 'Irish Citizen Army' - to protect the workers. Although the ICA was initially armed only with batons it soon acquired firearms and munitions.
    "The Starry Plough (the original version right) was adopted as the army's flag in 1914: the plough and the stars symbolising the present and the future of the working class respectively. The ICA participated in the 1916 rising at which time the British army captured the flag. It was returned to Ireland in 1966 and is now preserved in the National Museum of Ireland.
    "In 1934 a simplified version of the Starry Plough was designed for use by the country's largest trade union, the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (now SIPTU), and this came to be generally accepted as the flag of the Irish trade union and labour movement as a whole."

    Gareth Foy said: "The Plough and the Stars was also a political/ social play, possibly a satire, written around the time of the uprising in the 1920s by a wonderful Dublin playwright called, I think, Sean O'Casey."

    Chris Ashby said: "Also the plough is another name for the star constellation commonly known as the big dipper or whatever." (Or ‘The Great Bear’ It is this constellation which is marked over the lilies on the water panel inside the gatefold- Ed!)
    CommentsClownon February 08, 2012   Link

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