For many of us the phrase Hard Times will take us back to Leaving Cert English studies of Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name which depicts the horror of the industrial revolution upon the ordinary man in the workhouse in Victorian Britain.
Paddy Dennehy & The Red Herring’s song of the same name may not be covered in the soot of the workhouse, but it is steeped in the blood of a different kind of revolution.
Paddy Dennehy recounts the real-life killing of Winifred Barrington, a prominent member of society in 1920s Ireland by the Free State Army. Barrington, who was stepping out with Henry Biggs – a Black and Tans officer – was accidentally killed in an operation to assassinate her partner; who was only seeing her as a means of protection from and simultaneous two fingers to the Free State Army.
Dennehy performed Hard Times on The Late Late Show earlier this year.