Is "Come Out, Ye Black & Tans" just the 1920 version of "Fuck The Police?"

Originally published at: Is "Come Out, Ye Black & Tans" just the 1920 version of "Fuck The Police?" | Boing Boing


Amazingly this was sung on the BBC by Steve Coogan back in 2020.


Well, I’m following you on that evil behemoth Apple Music, so I guess I’ll have to wait 'til the 10th.

And yeah, anything by Dominic Behan was essentially saying ACAB, but more extended to not just the henchmen in uniform but the assholes who consider themselves rulers. Just because The Dubliners made the songs interesting for modern audiences doesn’t make them any less bitter and rousing.


Me and my friends (they had a band that did a weird mix of alt rock and Irish songs in Woodside) used to joke that Irish songs are the original gangsta rap… they’re either about potcheen (the original crack in every moral panic sense), “faithless women” (“Black Velvet Band”), or killing occupying cops (“Arthur McBride”, “Wild Colonial Boy”). The English language word play in Irish songs is also a lot like rap… probably because in both cases it was someone else’s language. The Flanders thing probably was a reference to the Black and Tans saying they were heroes in WWI…


One year I searched for Irish traditional music and Christmas songs to regale my in-laws with diddly diddly while I cooked Christmas dinner… and I got re-acquainted with this one (which is the very definition of “that went downhill quickly”).


And “Daloy Polizei” is an even more literal version from the days of the 1905 Russian revolution. And somehow complaints about the Russian aristocracy remain relevant.


Congrats, @thomdunn!

I will say, I think this connection shows just how much hip-hop is a form of folk music and punk, too. It’s all about showing the struggles of life under some form of oppression…


When I was researching for illustrating the song “Delaney’s Donkey” I was looking into the various forces mentioned in the song. One was “The Police Auxiliary”. Their uniform, such as it was, was that of the Black and Tans. For me, your case is proven.


I love that, and was also confused by it. That is Steve Coogan on both sides, right? And that’s not actually Daniel Craig, though it took me a second.

And an early precursor to a rap battle would have been flyting (although I think it’s more associated with Scotland and Anglo-Saxon Brittain): Flyting - Wikipedia


That is Steve Coogan in both roles. Alan Partridge and a lookalike he’s offended to look like


The service I use (Deezer) obviously doesn’t have it yet, but there is a single release of “Come Out, Ye Black and Tans (Fuck the Police).” After listening to it, I have added another artist to my follow list, so thank you @thomdunn ! I look forward to the new release.


Yes, that’s an older version that I whipped out one afternoon in 2019. The new version should be up on Deezer soon, and it’s even better!


Yes it is the 1920s version of “F*ck The Police”.

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