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Thread: Alternative Ulster

  1. #1
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    Default Alternative Ulster

    This thread is dedicated to the greatest punk rock band to have ever come out of Northern Ireland. I had the privilege of seeing them play two years on the trot in the early 80's at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. They always did a Christmas gig, and the atmosphere was always electric. Unlike the Undertones (Teenage kicks - John Peel's favourite), Stiff Little Fingers dared to sing about the conflict in Northern Ireland, with songs like "Wasted Life", "Suspect Device" and of course their classic "Alternative Ulster".

    Their debut album "Inflammable Material" is a punk classic, and Jake Burns really sang his heart out. Whilst the troubles were raging in the early 80's I was one of the spiky haired punk rockers who used to congregate in Corn Market in Belfast city centre, and as well as the Stiffs, we also used to attend the Labour Club to see local hardcore anarcho-punk bands "Toxic Waste" and "Stalag 17".

    Of course by 1984 the Belfast punk movement had greatly declined in numbers since the punk explosion of 1977 (no pun intended), and the music had become a lot faster, harder, and even more political in tone than before, but the central message was always there: the punks had created for themselves an alternative culture, an alternative to the Ulster that was characterised by bloody conflict, and if the people of Northern Ireland wanted an alternative to war, all they had to do was reject the paramilitary groups on both sides and embrace peace.

    In 1998 the people of this country officially rejected political violence and embraced the peace they had been yearning for. The punks had got it right. Their rejection of political violence and their alternative thinking communicated a desire for change, and that change has finally taken place. I know that some Republicans will say that what we have is an alternative six counties and not an alternative Ulster. The same people who will walk into a Belfast cafe and order an "occupied six counties fry" as opposed to an "Ulster fry". Feckin eejits.

    To the Stiffs! Get some volume on it!

    "I could be a soldier
    Go out there and fight to save this land
    Be a people's soldier
    Paramilitary gun in hand
    I won't be a soldier
    I won't take no orders from no-one
    Stuff their ******************************ing armies
    Killing isn't my idea of fun

    (Chorus)
    They wanna waste my life
    They wanna waste my time
    They wanna waste my life
    And they've stolen it away

    I could be a hero
    Live and die for their 'important' cause
    A united nation
    Or an independent state with laws
    And rules and regulations
    That merely cause disturbances and wars
    That is what I've got now
    All thanks to the freedom-seeking hordes

    (Chorus)

    I'm not gonna be taken in
    They said if I don't join I just can't win
    I've heard that story many times before
    And every time I threw it out the door

    Still they come up to me
    With a different name but same old face
    I can see the connection
    With another time and a different place
    They ain't blonde-haired or blue-eyed
    But they think that they're the master race
    They're nothing but blind fascists
    Brought up to hate and given lives to waste"

    (Chorus: repeat)

    Last edited by Billy the Prod; 26th October 2012 at 03:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy the Prod View Post
    This thread is dedicated to the greatest punk rock band to have ever come out of Northern Ireland. I had the privilege of seeing them play two years on the trot in the early 80's at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. They always did a Christmas gig, and the atmosphere was always electric. Unlike the Undertones (Teengae kicks - John Peel's favourite), Stiff Little Fingers dared to sing about the conflict in Northern Ireland, with songs like "Wasted Life", "Suspect Device" and of course their classic "Alternative Ulster".

    Their debut album "Inflammable Material" is a punk classic, and Jake Burns really sang his heart out. Whilst the troubles were raging in the early 80's I was one of the spiky haired punk rockers who used to congregate in Corn Market in Belfast city centre, and as well as the Stiffs, we also used to attend the Labour Club to see local hardcore anarcho-punk bands "Toxic Waste" and "Stalag 17".

    Of course by 1984 the Belfast punk movement had greatly declined in numbers since the punk explosion of 1977 (no pun intended), and the music had become a lot faster, harder, and even more political in tone than before, but the central message was always there: the punks had created for themselves an alternative culture, an alternative to the Ulster that was characterised by bloody conflict, and if the people of Northern Ireland wanted an alternative to war, all they had to do was reject the paramilitary groups on both sides and embrace peace.

    In 1998 the people of this country officially rejected political violence and embraced the peace they had been yearning for. The punks had got it right. Their rejection of political violence and alternative thinking communicated a desire for change, and that change has finally taken place. I know that some Republicans will say that what we have is an alternative six counties and not an alternative Ulster. The same people who will walk into a Belfast cafe and order an "occupied six counties fry" as opposed to an "Ulster fry". Feckin eejits.

    To the Stiffs! Get some volume on it!

    "I could be a soldier
    Go out there and fight to save this land
    Be a people's soldier
    Paramilitary gun in hand
    I won't be a soldier
    I won't take no orders from no-one
    Stuff their ******************************ing armies
    Killing isn't my idea of fun

    (Chorus)
    They wanna waste my life
    They wanna waste my time
    They wanna waste my life
    And they've stolen it away

    I could be a hero
    Live and die for their 'important' cause
    A united nation
    Or an independent state with laws
    And rules and regulations
    That merely cause disturbances and wars
    That is what I've got now
    All thanks to the freedom-seeking hordes

    (Chorus)

    I'm not gonna be taken in
    They said if I don't join I just can't win
    I've heard that story many times before
    And every time I threw it out the door

    Still they come up to me
    With a different name but same old face
    I can see the connection
    With another time and a different place
    They ain't blonde-haired or blue-eyed
    But they think that they're the master race
    They're nothing but blind fascists
    Brought up to hate and given lives to waste"

    (Chorus: repeat)


  5. #5
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    SLF werent a patch on the great Ulster rocker - Daniel O Donnell

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    Now I have ya Billy, you can't back out of this one when I visit belfast I drink with one of the Stiffs. Care to meet him and share a jar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pooka View Post
    SLF werent a patch on the great Ulster rocker - Daniel O Donnell
    Daniel was too hardcore for my tastes.

    Quote Originally Posted by fontenoy View Post
    Now I have ya Billy, you can't back out of this one when I visit belfast I drink with one of the Stiffs. Care to meet him and share a jar?
    Really? Jake Burns?

    Did you do the punk thing as a teenager too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fontenoy View Post
    Now I have ya Billy, you can't back out of this one when I visit belfast I drink with one of the Stiffs. Care to meet him and share a jar?
    Does he know you are "still friends" with unrepentant murderers?

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member fontenoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy the Prod View Post
    Daniel was too hardcore for my tastes.



    Really? Jake Burns?

    Did you do the punk thing as a teenager too?
    Damn right the Stiffs were/are the best punk band ever. See we do have common ground and I'm not telling ya which stiff. You gottta meet up the Monico Lombard Street.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member fontenoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DT123 View Post
    Does he know you are "still friends" with unrepentant murderers?
    Yeah I bring him pints of blood to drink.

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