Page last updated at 06:29 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 07:29 UK

Troubles tunes which annoyed Auntie

By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

It may not get the biggest cheer of the night but the Police's hit Invisible Sun might well generate the most conversation among those attending the group's gig at Belfast's Stormont Estate.

The Police
The Police play Stormont as part of their world tour
The song was banned by the BBC in 1981 because of its overtly political, Northern Ireland-inspired lyrics, which refer to the "barrel of an Armalite" and "keeping out of trouble like the soldiers say".

And it continues: "And they're only going to change this place by killing everybody in the human race."

The Police, reformed and on a world tour, play Stormont, the seat of Northern Ireland's fledgling assembly, on Friday night.

Their video for Invisible Sun, which featured on the same album as Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, also contained footage of life in Belfast and beyond during the Troubles.

However, Sting and the boys were far from the only act to be sanctioned by Auntie over a song linked to Northern Ireland's Troubles.

The police
Songs referring to the Troubles in Northern Ireland were often banned
Paul McCartney and Wings' response to the events of Bloody Sunday, Give Ireland Back to the Irish, similarly fell foul of the BBC in 1972.

In fact the song title was even not allowed to be mentioned on the air, and it was refered to on Radio 1's chart countdown as "a record by the group Wings".

Around the same time, McGuinness Flint's Let The People Go which was linked to internment in Northern Ireland was also banned by the BBC.

'Tiocfaidh Ar La'

More recently in 1993 hip-hop outfit Marxman's Sad Affair, which protested against the presence of British troops in Northern Ireland, was almost universally banned by UK radio stations, including those operated by the BBC.

The song, also contained the Irish phrase "Tiocfaidh Ar La", or 'Our day will come', which is associated with Irish republicans.

The most famous song the BBC has banned is probably Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax".

While it has no obvious link with Northern Ireland, it demonstrated that being taken off the airwaves isn't necessarily a bad for the artist concerned.

Relax was banned while at number six in the charts, but went on to top the UK singles chart for no less than five weeks.


SEE ALSO
Police stage too big for city gig
19 Jun 08 |  Northern Ireland
Police top Billboard tour awards
16 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Banned on the run
14 Jan 04 |  Magazine

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific