We'll Sing It All Over
Tommy Sands © Elm Grove Music
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement began in 1968 with five basic demands:
It had initial support from a wide embrace of the community, Ivan Cooper, a Protestant was one of the early leaders but the Northern Ireland government of the time regarded the movement as a front for Republicanism and Communism. Many Loyalists regarded it as the thin edge of the wedge in the struggle for a United Ireland. Like in all movements towards equality and change, those who were liable to gain were enthusiastic and those who might lose were suspicious.
I wrote this during the late Sixties and early Seventies as a kind of Anthem for the Civil Rights movement and with the Sands Family sang it during a very tense night in Newry October 1971. British Soldiers positioned on the roof of Woolworth’s shop in Newry had shot dead three local youths, whom I had known at school, and the town was in an uproar. An unofficial curfew was imposed, the lights were turned off and people were afraid to come out on the streets. In the darkness we began to sing this song in answer to a request from Civil Rights leaders. Slowly people returned to the streets and joined us. Soon afterwards the lights were switched back on again.
We’ve been to school we’ve learned the rules
We’ll sing it all over we’ll sing it down under
We’re on the bru*, that’s nothing new
The world will hear our call Civil Rights for all
So just don’t stand and stare you can do your share