Oliver Boy (All Of Our Boys)

Album: Speed Of Darkness (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Ask an Irishman who is their #1 hated historical figure and many would nominate Oliver Cromwell. After he overthrew the monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) embarked on an invasion of Ireland in 1649. His purpose was to reassert English control after the Irish had rebelled against Protestant English rule. The vengeful actions of Cromwell's army, particularly the battles of Drogheda and Wexford, in which thousands of civilians were massacred after the capture of the towns have made his name synonymous with English oppression in the minds of Irish nationalists. Flogging Molly frontman Dave King told Alternative Press magazine how the British ruler inspired this song: "There was a man by the name of Oliver Cromwell, who basically tried to wipe the Irish race off the face of the Earth. I started off with 'Oliver Boy,' then it goes into what's going on in the Middle East right now - when will the stupidity of conflict actually end? I started off with him, and I brought it to the present day, because things haven't really changed in that area of humanity: fighting over land and religion. Like, 'Oh my God, would you please stop?'"
  • Another song to reference Cromwell in its title is Elvis Costello's 1979 UK hit "Oliver's Army." Morrissey's 2004 UK #3 hit "Irish Blood, English Heart" also brings up the controversial 17th century English statesman.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Ron and Russell Mael of SparksSongwriter Interviews

The men of Sparks on their album Hippopotamus, and how Morrissey handled it when they suggested he lighten up.

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

CommercialsFact or Fiction

Was "Ring Of Fire" really used to sell hemorrhoid cream?