THE young musicians behind the Limerick rap song controversy have defended their lyrics, expressing bewilderment that they had been deemed inappropriate by the City of Culture boss.
Nathan Keane and Calvin McNamara, of the Moyross Youth Crew rap group, were asked to take out the word "rough" in a description of the city because it was not in keeping with the image considered desirable by City of Culture CEO Patricia Ryan.
In the verse, the rappers say: "The city's looking rough when you're walking on the bridge; it's the city where we're tough, there's no place you'd rather live."
In a leaked email written by Ms Ryan to the production company, she says: "I think the song is great. There is just one small thing that jars and that is the line about "the city looks rough" -- it's really not the image we want to portray -- the rest is great, really love it. Sorry to be a pain."
In a radio interview with Matt Cooper on Today FM yesterday, Nathan and Calvin admitted they did not really know why Ms Ryan had objected to the song, saying their producer had told them it was because she did not like the use of the word "rough".
However, Nathan said: "If you stand at any bridge, the city's looking rough without a doubt.
"I thought there was nothing particularly wrong with it," Nathan said, adding that the lyrics continued that there was "no place we'd rather live".
"We're dead proud of Limerick," he said. The city had been through some difficulties but "we're coming out of it".
He added that the rappers were "in it for positivity" and were "not trying to cause hassle".
Asked how he had felt when they were told they would not be allowed to perform at the New Year's Eve carnival, Calvin admitted they "didn't like it" but said they had had "big support" from the local community since the row blew up.
However, the group said despite being dropped, they would still perform during Limerick's City of Culture year if asked.