Cover image of song Give Ireland Back to the Irish by Wings

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Lyrics of Give Ireland Back to the Irish

Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away
Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Make Ireland Irish Today
Great Britain You Are Tremendous
And Nobody Knows Like Me
But Really What Are You Doin'
In The Land Across The Sea

Tell Me How Would You Like It
If On Your Way To Work
You Were Stopped By Irish Soldiers
Would You Lie Down Do Nothing
Would You Give In, or Go Berserk

Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away
Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Make Ireland Irish Today

Great Britain And All The People
Say That All People Must Be Free
Meanwhile Back In Ireland
There's A Man Who Looks Like Me

And He Dreams Of God And Country
And He's Feeling Really Bad
And He's Sitting In A Prison
Should He Lie Down Do Nothing
Should Give In Or Go Mad

Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away
Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Make Ireland Irish Today

Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away
Give Ireland Back To The Irish


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'Give Ireland Back to the Irish' is a Paul and Linda McCartney song written in response to the events of Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland on 30 January 1972. The song was released on 25 February 1972 as the debut single by McCartney's new band Wings, and it was the first recorded song by Wings that included Irish guitarist Henry McCullough.

It was completely barred from media exposure in the United Kingdom, being banned by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg and the Independent Television Authority. On the BBC Radio 1 chart show 'Pick of the Pops', Alan Freeman had to refer to it as 'a record by the group Wings'. 'From our point of view,' said Paul McCartney, 'it was the first time people questioned what we were doing in Ireland. It was so shocking. I wrote 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish', we recorded it and I was promptly 'phoned by the Chairman of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, explaining that they wouldn't release it. He thought it was too inflammatory. I told him that I felt strongly about it and they had to release it. He said, 'Well it'll be banned', and of course it was. I knew 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish' wasn't an easy route, but it just seemed to me to be the time. All of us in Wings felt the same about it. But Henry McCullough's brother who lived in Northern Ireland was beaten up because of it. The thugs found out that Henry was in Wings.' The song reached number 1 in the singles charts in the Republic of Ireland and Spain, but it only climbed to number 16 in the UK Singles Chart and number 21 in the U.S. 'Billboard' Hot 100.

The B-side of the single, 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish (version)', is an instrumental version of the A-side. The A-side was reissued as a bonus track on the 1993 remastered CD of Wings' 'Wild Life' album.



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