Monday 18 May 2015

Ned of the Hill in Sarajevo

A week before we left for Sarajevo we were at a Ron Kavana gig at the Stags Head in Camden Town. He is a folk/rock singer After he had sung 'Young Ned of the Hill', composed with the Pogues, he told us that he had enjoyed performing this on tour with them to enthusiastic British audiences who appreciated its message – that Oliver Cromwell rot in hell. We told him we'd add his albums to the CDs we were taking into the city for radio stations. Ron said he'd like to join us. 'Why do you want to come?'  I asked him. 'My grandma was a fiddle player in Limerick'. That didn't seem to answer the question. A long pause. 'She was killed by the Brits in 1921. What you've told me about Sarajevo reminds me of her. She used to perform in cellars, out of sight of the Black and Tans.' He didn't need to say more about them. They were British ex-First World War soldiers and released prisoners with a reputation for murderous brutality. They were recruited to support the Royal Irish Police in suppressing the war of independence. 'One night they heard her playing, took her away and shot her. If I come to Sarajevo I will play music and will be honouring her memory.' More about Ron in Sarajevo here.

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