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Maybe Band Should Find a New Name

April 25, 1991

In their interview with Mike Boehm ("Honorary Irishfolk: Their Roots Aren't Green, but These Local Bands Are at Home on Foreign Turf," March 14-20), the Orange County musicians who call themselves the Bold Fenian Men reflect on their easy view of Irish music. However, their comments regarding Ireland and the IRA were both political and pointed and reflected not only political naivetee but raised a question of personal integrity.

They refer to the IRA of today's Ireland as "a bunch of murdering hooligans." However, they chose to call themselves the Bold Fenian Men. The Bold Fenian Men were, in fact, the IRA of the past era. They state they have difficulty singing of the IRA, yet their repertoire of Irish music is almost exclusively Irish rebel music, steeped in Ireland's centuries-old struggle for freedom, of which the IRA has been the most integral part.

Perhaps renaming themselves the Shamrocks or the Leprechauns would resolve part of their dilemma. Albeit at the sacrifice of marquee billing. And Ireland has a wealth of non-rebel music. It is a land abundant in beauty, poetry and myth. But non-rebel songs are not as commercial to an Irish-American audience. However, as is common to the Irish pub circuit, the most expedient and profitable route for new groups is the rebel music.

An easy view of Irish music. Perhaps. But an honest one?

DON BRADY

Irvine

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