'You don’t get to be proud of your heritage, plights and fights for freedom while kneeling on the neck of another...'
Imelda May read her deeply moving poem 'You Don't Get To Be Racist And Irish' for Culture on RTÉ today.
Imelda's first poetry EP, Slip Of The Tongue, is out on June 12th on Decca Records and she has been releasing one poem every week leading up to the nine-track EP.
The first track ‘Home’ is described as a "heartfelt recollection of what deep love feels like". The second track ‘GBH’ is "the story of a woman who, through life’s sometimes tedious repetitiveness and passion's dampened flame, discovers the highs and joys of self-pleasure".
You can read 'You Don't Get To Be Racist and Irish' in full below.
— Culture on RTÉ (@RTE_Culture) June 5, 2020
'You Don't Get To Be Racist And Irish' by Imelda May
You don’t get to be racist and Irish
You don’t get to be proud of your heritage,
plights and fights for freedom
while kneeling on the neck of another!
You’re not entitled to sing songs
of heroes and martyrs
mothers and fathers who cried
as they starved in a famine
Or of brave hearted
poets and artists
lined up in a yard
blindfolded and bound
Waiting for Godot
and point blank to sound
We took refuge
So cannot refuse
When it’s our time
To return the favour
Bodies crushed and swollen
unholy tokens of Christ, Nailed to a tree
(That) You hang around your neck
Like a noose of the free
Our colour pasty
Our accents thick
Hands like shovels
from mortar and bricklaying
foundation of cities
you now stand upon
Our suffering seeps from every stone
your opportunities arise from
Outstanding on the shoulders
of our forefathers and foremother’s
who bore your mother’s mother
Our music is for the righteous
Our joys have been earned
Well deserved and serve
to remind us to remember
Still labelled leprechauns, Micks, Paddy’s, louts
we’re shouting to tell you
our land, our laws
are progressively out there
We’re in a chrysalis
state of emerging into a new
and more beautiful Eire/era
40 Shades Better
Unanimous in our rainbow vote
we’ve found our stereotypical pot of gold
and my God it’s good.
So join us.. 'cause
You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish.
Read more: WATCH: Bo' Selecta! star Leigh Francis apologises for 'offensive' portrayals of Black people
Read more: WATCH: Meghan Markle delivers heartfelt speech on the killing of George Floyd
Read more: 5 podcasts about black and POC experiences in Ireland