I’m a Catholic, I’m not a Protestant

As long as I’m posting old Makem and Clancy clips… here’s a funny one from the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem about the whole Catholic-Protestant conflict. The joke the precedes that the song (told by the late great Tommy Makem, in fine form as usual) might be the best part, but the song (The Old Orange Flute) is pretty funny too.

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3 Responses to “I’m a Catholic, I’m not a Protestant”

  1. Alasdair says:

    In Scotland, I grew up with both sides, more often by the Corries and the like – but we learned to sing the folk songs from both Protestant and Catholic sides … without actually killing each other … often …

  2. Joe Loy says:

    Har har :} Aye, Laird Alasdair, sure’n’ Rarely is better than Often… :>

    Great stuff, Brendan, from the peerless boyo from the Repooblich of South Armagh. / While neither can quite Measure up artistically (what Can?), still here are 2 related ditties on the same theme ~ though I’ll be damned if I’ll try to find Audioclips of ’em ;>, but that’s not Necessary ’cause the Melodies are well Known anyway ~ the First, courtesy of The Mudcat Cafe, being an Answer to “The Old Orange Flute”, entitled “The Fenian Record Player”; tune “The Yellow Rose of Texas” ~~

    Wee Willie John MacFudgeon was a loyal Orange Prod,
    Who thought that Ian Paisley was one step down from God,
    He thought they ate the children in the backwoods of Ardoyne,
    And he thought that history started with the Battle of the Boyne.

    One day he took a brick in hand, went down the road to Falls,
    He was mumblin’ ‘Up the Rangers’ and hummin’ ‘Derry Walls’,
    He smashed a big shop window, to annoy the Pope of Rome:
    He grabbed a record player out and then he headed home.

    Next night they had a hooley at the local Orange Hall,
    Wee Willie brought his player, to make music for the ball,
    He choose a stack of records of a very Loyal kind –
    But when the music started up, Wee Willie lost his mind.

    For that Fenian record player it was Rebel to the core,
    It played such songs an Orange Lodge had never heard before,
    For Dolly’s Brae and ‘Derry’s Walls’ it did not give a fig,
    And it speeded up ‘God save the Queen’ ’til it sounded like a jig.

    It played ‘The Woods of Upton’ and the Wearing of the Green ,
    Such turmoil in an Orange Hall had never yet been seen,
    It played The Boys of Wexford and ‘The Men of Ninety Eight’,
    But when it played ‘A Soldier’s Song’ it sealed poor Willie’s fate.

    The boys went plain demented, to the ground Wee Will was thrown,
    They kicked his ribs in one by one, to the sound of Garryowen,
    They threw him out the window to a song about Sinn Féin,
    And they kicked him all ’round Sandy Row to A Nation Once Again .

    Now, that Fenian record player was heard no-never-more,
    They prodded it with piggin’ poles and threw it on the floor,
    But ‘t’was the grandest sight, me boys, that you have ever seen:
    The flashes flyin’ out of it were Orange, White and Green.

    Now Willie’s in the mental home, as crazy as a Coote,
    He sits there in his padded cell and toodles on his flute,
    But when he tries to play a song, he just lets out a groan,
    For half-way through the ‘August Fights’ it’s playin’ ‘A Soldier’s Song’.

    If there’s a moral to this story, what it is I cannot say –
    Perhaps it is the ancient one that ‘crime will never pay’ –
    But if you ask Wee Willie, he will will tell you ‘Crime be blowed –
    If you want to pinch a record player,do it up the Shankill Road’.

    And, from The Irish Rovers ~ one of the Best of the early Clancys/Makem spinoff groups :} ~ the famous Lament over the Perils of the Mixedcolors Marriage, melody same as “The Rising of the Moon” ~ entitled, “The Orange & the Green”:

    My father was an Ulster man, proud Protestant was he,
    My mother was a Catholic girl from county Cork, was she,
    They were married in two churches, lived happily enough,
    Until the day that I was born and things got rather tough.

    Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen:
    My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was Green.

    Baptized by Father Reilly, I was rushed away by car,
    To be made a little Orangeman, my father’s shining star.
    I was christened David Anthony, but still in spite of that,
    To my father I was William while my mother called me Pat.


    With Mother every Sunday, to Mass I’d proudly stroll,
    Then after that, the Orange lodge would try to save my soul,
    For both sides tried to claim me, but i was smart because
    I’d play the flute or play the harp, depending where I was.


    One day my Ma’s relations came round to visit me
    Just as my father’s kinfolk were all sitting down to tea,
    We tried to smooth things over, but they all began to fight
    And me, being strictly neutral, I bashed everyone in sight.


    My parents never could agree about my type of school,
    My learning was all done at home, that’s why I’m such a fool,
    They’ve both passed on, God rest ’em, but left me caught between –
    That awful color problem of the Orange and the Green.

    Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen:
    My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was Green.

  3. David Ross says:

    LMAO! My parents brought over the lyrics for “The Old Orange Flute” in a collection of folksongs from the Green and Pleasant Land (that would be England – heh). How verily hath that song weathered the ravages of time.