On St. Patrick’s Day everyone’s Irish

joost-newsletterI think it’s been something that has been happening for a long time, but as soon as St. Patrick’s Day comes around everyone and their granny and their favourite rock band are declared to be Irish.

This morning I got an email newsletter from Joost, an online video service that’s been struggling to stay afloat amongst heavy competition from other online video providers.

Anyway, one thing caught my eye in their listing of a playlist of music of Irish artists, which reads as follows.

We’ve compiled all your favorite artists from the Emerald Isle – U2, Snow Patrol, Morrissey, Def Leppard and more…Sláinte!

Now unless I’m wholesale mistaken Joost are so incredibly wrong with this list.

  • Def Leppard – these guys are from Sheffield, England.
  • Morrissey – born in Lancashire, England.
  • Snow Patrol – whilst I think the band members are originally Northern Irish by nationality, the band was formed and grew out of Dundee in Scotland.
  • U2 – Ok, everyone thinks of these guys as Irish, but they can fuck right off. They’ll take the tax breaks whilst they can here, but as soon as things go a bit bleaker they’re out of here quicker than you can say “Bono is a total cunt”. Also, I could be nitpicking but but Adam Clayton was born in Oxfordshire, UK and The Edge was born in East London to Welsh parents.

Ireland has some really fantastic music come out of it over the years, so come on Joost, do a tiny tiny bit of research before you go sending out something stupidly embarrassing like this. A two-second search on Wikipedia reveals a category on Irish Musical groups. You could have mentioned Thin Lizzy, The Pogues, The Dubliners, Planxty, The Divine Comedy, Therapy?, hell you could have said Brendan Shine and I’d have been happier.


  • Spewey Walshe

    I guess it all depends on what the definition of your nationality is, it's something I've never been sure of. What are the defining factors? Is it purely based on your parents nationality, is it to do with where you were born or spent most of your life?

    Look at some of the people who most people would generally assume are completely Irish. Shane McGowan from the Pogues was born in England to Irish parents and spent most of his life there.

    Andy Irvine from Planxty was born in Scotland to Irish-Scots parents.

    Sure even some of our iconic national heroes are the same. James Connolly was born in England to Irish parents. Patrick Pearse had English parents but was born in Ireland.

    I really don't know what the definition of your nationality is but it doesn't seem too straightforward to me.

  • In my draft post I had actually written (UK/IRL) beside the Pogues, but for some reason deleted it.

    Yeah, it's definitely a tough one to define which bands are "Irish", I should have focussed mainly on the fact that Def Leppard are anything but Irish.

    Nationalism sucks balls – doesn't really make any sense. All defined around arbitrary borders applied hundreds of years ago by inbred monarchs and generals!

  • steve

    these guys are english… and who gives a shit..

  • steve

    and well.. even within ireland. my da's from limerick, my ma's from dublin. i was brought up here. my 4 grandparents are from sligo, kerry, clare, and wicklow. but i'm from dublin. i have zero confusion about that. as an example, i suppose.

  • Heh. I was actually just talking to Warren about that. I was pointing out that I'm Irish, even though by blood I'm half-Greek.

    I figure seeing as my mum lived in Ireland since she was three years old, and given that I can't speak any Greek and have only been to Greece three times in my life (once when I was two), I'm really Irish, no doubt.

    I could probably play soccer for the Greek team though, in theory.

  • Re: Def Leppard…following your U2 logic:

    "Following their breakthrough, the band moved to Dublin in February 1984 for tax purposes to begin writing the follow-up to Pyromania"

    just being pendantic 😛

    • Definitely – if you started questioning the nationality of any of them, well, we're all from the same melting pot.

      I did actually get a response from Joost who told me something I definitely didn't know about Def Leppard:

      "While Def Leppard is a British band, their guitarist, Vivan Campbell, is from Belfast, which is why we included him in the list. And we included Morrissey in the list for the reasons you state below – that he is the child of Irish immigrants."

      Still, poor old Thin Lizzy. No mention at all.