Into The Valley
So here's some unreconstructed 1979 Scottish punk for you. It all looks terribly neat today. This song is now the anthem for Dunfermline FC – valleys are valleys, and Dumferline's stadium is called The Valley. However, Into the Valley, written by Richard Jobson, the lead singer of the Skids, wrote it about young Scots recruited into the British Army, who were then sent to Northern Island.
Into the valley
Betrothed and divine
Realisations no virtue
But who can define
Why soldiers go marching
Those masses a line
This disease is catching
From victory to stone
Ahoy! Ahoy! Land, sea and sky
Ahoy! Ahoy! Boy, man and soldier
Ahoy! Ahoy! Deceived and then punctured
Ahoy! Ahoy! Long may they die
Armies are very attractive to regions mired in poverty, as Scotland continues to be. Newfoundlanders and Maritimers have long been over-represented in the Canadian Forces. The situation in Northern Ireland was as if they had been pitted against each other.
We know, because we read a bit of Tennyson yesterday, for the first time in about 40 years, that Into the Valley is also from The Charge of the Light Bridgade. The futility of the war in Ulster was just one of a long series of military futilities.
When last year we did On Site 22: WAR, I received some feedback that other than historical forts and things, war was irrelevant to architecture and design. We live in peace, etc, etc. Well, we might, personally, but we do not globally. If a punk band can get it together to write a song about war that has become so anthemic it is still played thirty years later, so can we all, here in the luxury of safe everyday lives, write about war using the tools of our trade. So many Paralympic athletes now are war amps – ex-soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They bring the war home.