The Wolfe Tones’ version of a 1920s Irish rebel song briefly knocked Stormzy and Dua Lipa off their familiar iTunes perches In the streaming age, the first singles charts of the new year are reliably predictable. Out goes the Christmas music; back in flood the familiar faces of Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy and Dua Lipa. But for a few hours on 8 January, an Irish rebel song about defying a notorious, 10,000-strong temporary police force sent by Churchill to Ireland in 1920 topped the UK iTunes chart. “Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away,” runs the refrain of Come Out Ye Black and Tans, this version recorded by traditional Dublin folk band the Wolfe Tones, “From the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra.” Its wildcard success has as much to do with Alan Partridge and a ham advert as it does the legacy of Irish police brutality.
Read full story