DESCRIPTION: "A paradise for racketeers and they call it Burnfoot Town." Shops, stores, petrol pumps, and sign posts "springing up like mushrooms overnight ... one day will all come down, And when Ireland's free prosperity will leave the Burnfoot Town"
AUTHOR: Tom Molloy? (source: McBride)
EARLIEST DATE: 1988 (McBride)
KEYWORDS: crime commerce nonballad
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
McBride 13, "Burnfoot Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: McBride: "[The song] tells, tongue in cheek, of how the racketeers set about to 'clean up' in the area during and after the second World War. Their shops stand silent and derelict today in Burnfoot Town." - BS
The curiosity in this is that Ireland *was* free during World War II; Neville Chamberlain had given back the Irish naval bases shortly before Munich. And Ireland did not take part in the war; there was a certain amount of blockade-running, of course, but hardly enough to explain this. The one possibility that might explain this link is that the song perhaps comes from a Catholic in Northern Ireland, who would consider Ulster an "unfree" part of Ireland.
The other possibility would be to associate the song with the First World War, which directly involved Ireland and came at a time when Ireland was still under British rule. Of course, there weren't many petrol pumps in Ireland then. - RBW
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