Sunday, May 01, 2016

Today -100: May 1, 1916: The Irish Republic is dead, long live the Republic of Ireland, or something

Patrick Pearse, self-styled Provisional President of the Irish Republic, orders an unconditional surrender. The Republic of Ireland has lasted six days. The dead include 70 rebels, 140 soldiers, and upwards of 300 civilians, including many children.

Pope Benedict instructs priests in Ireland to convince the Irish to be loyal to Britain.

The Irish Nationalist party’s leader John Redmond cables the editor of the American newspaper Ireland, calling the Rising an “attempt to torpedo Home Rule and the Irish Party” by “Sinn Fein cranks and German agents.” He celebrates its suppression by the force of English arms, and suggests that Irish and Irish-Americans in the US not be “unduly disturbed” by it.

A meeting sponsored by the United Irish Societies of America in New York is, however, quite unduly disturbed by it. No one thinks much of John Redmond here. There are also Germans at the meeting; “Deutschland ├╝ber alles” is sung.

The Hackensack, New Jersey police will send a German-speaking cop to monitor a lecture by Prof. Eugen Kuehneman about East Prussia to see that nothing is said “unfriendly to President Wilson, Congress, the United States, or the flag.”

Headline of the Day -100: 

Another issue of The Wipers Times is out, featuring “Minor Worries,” a poem but clearly meant to be sung to a pre-war Music Hall tune, as in this clip from Oh What a Lovely War, which has no overlapping lyrics with the poem, suggesting that there were many versions.

Never mind:

    If the Hun lets off some gas – Never mind.
    If the Hun attacks in mass – Never mind.
    If your dug-out’s blown to bits,
    Or the C.O.’s throwing fits,
    Or a crump your rum jar hits – Never mind.
    If your trench is mud knee-high – Never mind.
    You can't find a spot that's dry – Never mind.
    If a sniper has you set,
    Through dents in your parapet,
    And your troubles fiercer get – Never mind.
    If machine guns join the muddle – Never mind.
    Though you're lying in a puddle – Never mind.
    If the duckboard* barks your shin,
    And the barbed wire rips your skin,
    'Tis reward for all your sin – So never mind.

* duckboard = wooden boards forming a walkway over the mud of the trenches.

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