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Irish Voice News
Barack O’Bama Song Dispute
October 22, 2008
By April Drew
THE creators of the song “There’s No One As Irish As Barack O’Bama” claim that an Irish songwriter living in the U.S. has stolen their song and made it his own.
Three Limerick brothers, Gerry, Brian and Donny Corrigan, also known as Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys, the band who originally wrote the song, are irate that the work they created back in February is now being sung by someone else, and they are receiving very little credit for it.
The band says that “There’s No One As Irish As Barack O’Bama” was their brainchild created when they decided to make a spoof song out of Obama’s Irish roots.
“We found out in February that Obama had origins in Moneygall, Co. Offaly so from there we thought it would be fun to make up a song about it,” Gerry Corrigan told the Irish Voice.
Since February the group, headlined by Gerry Corrigan, 42, have appeared on several television and radio shows across Ireland performing their song, and it has been very well received.
“We created the song for a bit of fun,” admitted Corrigan, and fun they are certainly having with it.
Launching the song on YouTube, the boys weren’t long getting noticed. They even got airtime on the MSNBC show Hardball with Chris Matthews when 20 seconds of the song was shown.
Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys, who have been performing together for nearly 20 years, have been regular guests at events hosted by the group Americans for Obama in Moneygall, and that is where they will be again on November 4 when, according to Corrigan, Obama will be announced the next president of the U.S.
Shay Black, brother of legendary Irish singers Mary and Francis Black, contacted the Limerick brothers over the summer asking them if he could, for his summer music camp in Berkeley, California, add additional versus to their song that goes like this.
“O’Leary, O’Reilly, O’Hare and O’Hara
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama
From the old Blarney Stone to the green Hills of Tara
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama.”
Corrigan told the Irish Voice that he was delighted when Black originally contacted him.
“Sure, I told Shay, thinking it was a great idea and why not, sure it was all about having fun with the song,” Corrigan said.
All was going smoothly for the band with various television and radio appearances in Ireland until a few weeks ago when they discovered that Black had his own version of their song on YouTube, and they were not being credited for being its original creators.
Angry and feeling betrayed, Corrigan confronted Black about the issue.
Black told the Irish Voice that this all started when two local men in California filmed him singing the song, additional versus included. They asked Black if they could upload the new song on YouTube and he agreed, where it has received nearly 200,000 hits to date.
Black emailed the Corrigan’s to inform them that the song was on YouTube with the additional verses.
Corrigan replied to Black’s email saying they were happy with the result and suggested that the pair work together in the future promoting the song, including possible television appearances.
However, upon closer inspection, Corrigan noticed that the song had no mention of them so he asked Black to add the following: “Permission to add additional verses given to Shay Black by the Corrigan Brothers (Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys).”
Black did as Corrigan asked and made sure that Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys were credited at the opening segment of the song on YouTube as the creators.
However by this stage, Black’s version of the song had taken on a life of it’s own, making countless appearances on various websites (including Obama’s official campaign site) and blogs stating that it was Shay Black that created the song.
“If one Google’s “Shay” and ‘There’s No One As Irish As Barack O’Bama’ then several links appear with Shay singing the song or being credited for creating our song,” said Corrigan.
Upset and disgruntled at this, Corrigan, who feels they are losing the song that they have worked tirelessly to promote both in Ireland and the U.S., asked Black to edit the song completely for YouTube and to email people who stated that he was the creator of the song to set them straight.
Black, who told the Irish Voice that the situation has gotten way out of control, said he could not edit the song because it would have to be removed from YouTube to do so, and he didn’t want to risk losing it.
Black said the song has received such strong momentum in the Irish American community and feels it is making a profound statement about Obama and his Irish roots.
Black said, “The lads have tapped into a vein that is actually becoming a vibrant political movement. Forty six million people in the States say they are Irish and their song has made it easier to identify Obama as actually being Irish. Like JFK. I have been told that this song is the cause of a paradigm shift that could actually tip the balance in the election.”
Black told the Corrigans and the Irish Voice he is unable to do any more to rectify the situation. He has credited the band for creating the song (both at the beginning and the end of his performance) on YouTube.
Black, did however say he is willing to remove the song from YouTube after November 4.
“I am happy to take the song down to keep the boys happy after the election,” he said.
To view the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew song on YouTube search for the band’s name and “Obama.” To see Black’s version search for “Shay Black” and “Obama.”
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