Vaguely remembered anti-Irish folk song
September 14, 2017 8:19 AM   Subscribe

When I was in college, very late, when many people were impaired, I remember some of them started singing what seemed like some sort of old anti-Irish song. I want to know where it came from, if they didn't just make it up. Google doesn't show anything. Half-remembered lyrics inside.

All I can clearly remember is the phrase "a boatload full of Irishmen, all stinking and all drunk" and also that the chorus was something along the lines of "Turn 'em away! Turn 'em away!".

It was a mix of American Jews, Latino Jews, and Irish-Americans singing the song if that makes you feel better about it. In the current climate I could imagine this kind of thing being a white nationalist dogwhistle but it definitely wasn't.
posted by vogon_poet to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Where did you go to college?
posted by raccoon409 at 8:42 AM on September 14, 2017

There was a period in the late 1800's-early 1900's where the Irish people coming to this country were considered scum by most Americans.

I don't know the song, but, it probably originated from that era.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 10:27 AM on September 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Long shot, but is it "Fuck You I'm Drunk?"
posted by Miko at 11:02 AM on September 14, 2017

No, it was definitely an old-timey song from the Know-Nothing era (or imitating that style), definitely about Irishmen.
posted by vogon_poet at 12:03 PM on September 14, 2017

It doesn't sound like "No Irish Need Apply", but maybe that helps? That's a song about an Irish guy beating the crap out of a store owner who has the referenced sign in his store window.
posted by BeeDo at 3:13 PM on September 14, 2017

Any faint change it was actually just the Pogues doing "If I Should Fall From Grace With God"?
posted by padraigin at 9:44 PM on September 14, 2017

were any of these people fans of soccer? in scotland, Rangers FC fans used to sing 'The Famine Song' at their irish rivals, because hooliganism. the lyrics sound like similar to what you're remembering, and football songs often have that old-timey feel to them, though The Famine Song is usually sung to the same music as 'John B. Sails' (slightly different from the Beach Boys version, but not that different). it also used to get sung (probably still does) at unionist parades, so while some irish people will find it funny or not give a shit, and others will agree with it because ireland is complicated, others might get mad -- it's very context-dependent.
posted by halation at 11:33 AM on September 17, 2017

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