“Young Men of Erin, Our Dead Are Calling”: Death, Immortality and the Otherworld in Modern Irish Republican Ballads

Seán Ó Cadhla


Irish physical-force Republicanism has long been noted for its tendency to promote the tropes of martyrdom and immortality as core tenets of its ideological belief system. This essay sets out to examine the genre of Republican death ballads so as to identify how such essentialist concepts are represented and promoted within the attendant song tradition. Particular attention will be paid to works that deploy overtly supernatural tropes in order to articulate the key Republican concept of heroic immortality. The present research will demonstrate the consistency with which such narrative devices have been retained within the Republican song tradition into the late twentieth century and beyond, a time when their utilisation had become largely redundant within the broader folksong tradition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-20753

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