Mudcat Café message #731574 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48568   Message #731574
Posted By: GUEST,Philippa
17-Jun-02 - 02:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Happy immigration songs (discuss also)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Happy immigration songs (discuss also)
A new song about an Indian immigrant to Belfast was popular in N Ireland circa 1972. I think the group who recorded it was called "Tommy Thomas and the Professionals" (no relation to Irma Thomas & ..., I think!). The Indian peddled "lovely knickers in red, white and blue" on the Shankill Rd and though I can't remember the verse, I'm sure he sold the green, white and gold equivalent on the Falls. He was very happy as the chorus went:
Belfast, Belfast, a wonderful town
It doesn't matter if your skin is brown
Belfast, Belfast, I love you
If you're out of work you can get the bru*.
*'bru'= dole, welfare benefits (from the Bureau of ...)

There is some truth in the song. Immigrants from Indian have typically peddled clothes and many members of the Indian community here now have clothing shops or market stalls. Immigrants from Eastern Europe were similarly self-employed. I spoke with a man who grew up Jewish in Derry and he told me that when his father immigrated from Russia in the early 1900s, he peddled door to door and his merchandise included pictures of King Billy for Protestant customers and the Pope for Catholic customers. I have verification from a Catholic woman who told me of her parents buying pictures of Padraic Pearse and of The Mass Rock in the Glen (where Mass was said in the Penal times) from Mr. Frieslander.