The Orange and the Green
|"The Orange and the Green"|
"The Orange and the Green" or "The Biggest Mix-Up" is an Irish folk song about a man whose father was a Protestant (Orange) and whose mother was a Catholic (Green). It describes the man's trials as the product of religious intermarriage and how "mixed up" he became from such an upbringing.
This song was written by Anthony Murphy of Liverpool and has been recorded by bands such as The Irish Rovers, The Wolfe Tones, Paddy Reilly, The Brobdingnagian Bards, The Grehan Sisters, and The Kreellers. It is sung to the same tune as "The Wearing of the Green", which is also used in the "The Rising of the Moon", another Irish ballad.
Liverpool, full of Irish immigrants, has a very high proportion of Catholics. On the other hand the Orange Order is also very strong. The Orange Lodge march up every year with his fifes and drums and pipe band go by every July. Although Liverpool is not known as a city of sectarian violence, you don't have to go too far back to uncover the tensions in this city in people's living memory. An Orange mob throwing rocks at Archbishop Heenan in 1958 for instance. People did intermarry with all frustrations encountered by those born of such mixed marriages. This song from Liverpool expresses some of them.
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