Primordial – The Coffin Ships
A tale of famine, 3 million dead and many more gone. One of Ireland’s saddest tales.
Genre: Celtic/Folk/Black Metal
Lyrical Themes: Cultural Heritage, History, Struggle, Paganism, Dark Romanticism
Origin: Dublin, Ireland
Primordial’s music has a simple but powerful aesthetic. There are no keyboards and flutes. Simply the power of voice, acoustic guitars and drums.
This is a song heavy with woe and grief. The history of Ireland itself is one of blood and tragedy. Between the years of 1845 – 1849 a great famine ravaged Ireland, outsiders call it “The Potato Famine”. The Irish call it “The Great Hunger.” Anywhere from 1 million to 3 million people died in this famine. Many of their youth left the shores of Ireland on ships to America. The Irish called these “Coffin Ships.”
This event was a dividing line in Irish History, after which many Nationalist movements formed in Ireland – seeking an escape from the United Kingdom of Great Britain. For you see, the British took much Irish farmland and used it for farming beef to export to Britain. Many Irish folk were pushed off their land and forced to contend with smaller plots. The potato was a crop that could grow abundantly on a small amount of land, so it became the food of the poor. Yet the poor became dependent upon it. Eventually a disease killed most of the potatoes in 1845 – resulting in “The Great Hunger.”