Key Notes - an Irish music blog by Steven O'Rourke

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A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

Aug 17

Written by:
Friday, August 17, 2007  RssIcon

They're not really. However, Sinn Fein Cllr. Dessie Ellis would have you believe that their new single, The Day I Disappeared, is attracting kids to crime. But of course, he hasn't listened to the song.

Normally, this blog is the gentle, timid type. It takes a lot to get it angry; it takes even more to get it in such a state that it’s shouting at the radio while stuck in traffic on the N81, much to the bemusement of its fellow motorists. The reason for such apocalyptic rage? Cllr. Dessie Ellis of Sinn Féin.

Why, you might ask, is Key Notes discussing politics? It’s not, it’s discussing idiots. You see, Cllr. Ellis found the time to address the burning needs of his electorate in yesterdays ‘Irish’ Daily Mirror. His problem was that A Lazarus Soul have featured an image of Martin Cahill, aka The General, on the front of their new single The Day I Disappeared. Cllr. Ellis claims that this is ‘inappropriate’ and ‘sends out the wrong sort of message.’ However, and the reason why I was shouting at the radio, on Phantom yesterday evening, Cllr. Ellis admitted he hadn’t yet heard the song.

If he had taken the time to listen, rather than pontificate, perhaps he might not be so quick to judge. The Day I Disappeared discusses the loss of the ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal.’ It doesn’t portray them as heroes, but it does spark debate about whether Cahill and his ilk were ‘better’ than the ‘Younger, faceless, more sinister gangs’ the Gardai are failing to deal with today.

Of course, Martin Cahill was no saint; who is? What he was though, was the biggest fish in the murky pond at a time when we had crime under relative control, something that Graveyard of Burnt Out Cars, the album from which the track is taken, deals with in full. We used to think things were bad, and indeed they were, but they are a lot worse now. That is the theme of the album in general and this track in particular.

Now, it’s not for this blog to point out that Cllr. Ellis is a member of a party with extremely close links to the organisation that claimed responsibility for Cahill’s death. That information is already freely and publicly available. What this blog would like to highlight, however, is that politicians, and indeed people in general, shouldn’t be so quick to criticise a band/artist for a song they haven’t even heard.

Marilyn Manson isn’t responsible for kids shooting other kids, Elliott Smith (despite what this blogs mother might think) isn’t responsible for people killing themselves and A Lazarus Soul aren’t responsible for the gangland trouble we have today. Sparking debate and posing questions, while still composing a pretty accomplished indie-rock song, is something A Lazarus Soul should be applauded for, not criticised by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

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9 comment(s) so far...

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

amazing song amazing album
ellis is blind like most of ireland

By gareth sharkey on   Friday, August 17, 2007

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

As others have said it is the ultimate irony - someone like Ellis taking the moral high ground on issues of violence. I didn't realise until I read this blog that he had not heard the song though. That makes it absolutely hilarious. Like the line in the song says - the Liffey filled with tears, the day I disapearred - a tonhue in cheeck reference to the fact that not many shed a tear with The General's passing.

By Damien Ward on   Saturday, August 18, 2007

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

fair play to mr brannigan about time some band adressed the problems the country is having at the moment by the way mr ellis how many years were you in jail and for what ? oh yeah you and your pals did away with mr cahill didnt you

By uzimachinegun on   Sunday, August 26, 2007

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

Agreed over SF Hypocrisy but if only the majority of "youth" were interested in buying the single/album.
A Lazarus Soul are idiots if they believe Cahill was "better" than the current crop of criminals.
Murderous Scumbags all of em, no more & no less.
Or do they really believe that there is such thing as an "ODC"
I Wonder would they have gotten away with that(the picture) if Cahill was alive.
Still, No such thing as bad publicity
Cant wait for the picture of Gary Glitter on the next single.

By Klue on   Saturday, September 15, 2007

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

Mr Ellis is of excellent standing and has the knowlege of Yoda..... his comments should be made law.

By pauly mc on   Monday, July 07, 2008

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

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By lidadaidaihua on   Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

It won't do them any harm. It's got them some press coverage (albeit for the wrong reasons, but still) and nobody interested in this music will take Dessie Ellis seriously. I don't think Mr Ellis realises he's shooting himself in the foot by brandishing these fellas as rebellious youths.

It's a good song, I like it, and a striking cover too. But they need to use this press attention to boost them now, rather than hinder them.

By Peejay on   Friday, August 17, 2007

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

Oh yeah, I don't think it will do them any harm at all, I just hate when people come out with statements like this about music when they clearly know nothing about it.

By Steven O'Rourke on   Friday, August 17, 2007

Re: A Lazarus Soul: Destroying Ireland's Youth?

The irony of a Sinn Fein councillor protesting against using images glorifying violence: hilarious.

By aidan on   Friday, August 17, 2007