‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ by Irish rebel group The Wolfe Tones has topped both the Irish and UK iTunes charts.
It comes after plans to commemorate the controversial Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) were shelved by the Irish government.
Events to mark 100 years since the start of the RIC were cancelled after critics pointed out that the police division often acted as the British Crown’s enforcers and had a long-standing record of brutality during Ireland’s war of independence.
Constables from the force were often referred to as the ‘Black and Tans’, a nickname which stemmed from the colours of their uniform – a mixture of dark green and khaki.
Key figures from both the RIC and Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) were due to be remembered at a ceremony at Dublin Castle on January 17, but the ceremony has now been deferred after a wide public outcry.
In the wake of the controversy, The Wolfe Tones’ 1972 track has now risen to Number One on the UK and Ireland iTunes charts.
Posting on Twitter, the band wrote: “Come Out Ye Black n Tans No. 1 in Ireland, No. 3 in Britain … Fine Gael got their answer ….”
They later tweeted: “Make that No. 1 Ireland & Britain.”
Make that No. 1 Ireland & Britain 🙂
— The Wolfe Tones ?? (@wolfetones) January 9, 2020
Irish comedy duo The Rubberbandits added: “British radio better fucking play “come out ye black and tans” now that it’s number 1.”
The song, which contains the lyric “come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man,” is known for referencing the 1916 Easter Rising, Irish nationalism, and Ireland’s struggles against the British Empire.