irish rebel songs

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Today we covered the basics of the conflict between the Republic of Ireland and North Ireland, including the fundamental differences between Protestants and Catholics. Frank McCourt’s best selling memoir Angela’s Ashes is filled with themes of political, religious and cultural conflicts including several references to music, songs and lyrics. As we embark upon our journey through the streets of Limerick and Dublin, lets become familiar with a variety of Irish music written for either nationalistic pride, protest or rebellion.

One of the most famous Irish rebel songs – one that is continually referenced in Angela’s Ashes – is  “Kevin Berry”, a ballad that recounts the death of a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who was hanged on 1st November 1920.

Kevin Barry (1902-1920)

Listen to “Kevin Barry”

DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENT (5 Daily Participation Points): Search online for more Irish rebel, protest or nationalist music. ADD a comment to this post that includes the TITLE, SONGWRITER, YEAR and a brief description of the subject of the song – as well as any other interesting information. ALSO try to find a link to an audio sample of the song.

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33 Comments on “irish rebel songs”

  1. protestfolk says:

    “Song for the IRA”–public domain folk song–from late 1970s. Recently posted video of this historical public domain folk song at following protestfolk channel link:

  2. Taylor D says:

    God Save Ireland
    By T.D. Sullivan
    1867

    High upon the gallows tree swung the noble-hearted three.
    By the vengeful tyrant stricken in their bloom;
    But they met him face to face, with the courage of their race,
    And they went with souls undaunted to their doom.
    “God save Ireland!” said the heroes;
    “God save Ireland” said they all.
    Whether on the scaffold high
    Or the battlefield we die,
    Oh, what matter when for Erin dear we fall!1
    Girt around with cruel foes, still their courage proudly rose,
    For they thought of hearts that loved them far and near;
    Of the millions true and brave o’er the ocean’s swelling wave,
    And the friends in holy Ireland ever dear.
    “God save Ireland!” said the heroes;
    “God save Ireland” said they all.
    Whether on the scaffold high
    Or the battlefield we die,
    Oh, what matter when for Erin dear we fall!
    Climbed they up the rugged stair, rang their voices out in prayer,
    Then with England’s fatal cord around them cast,
    Close beside the gallows tree kissed like brothers lovingly,
    True to home and faith and freedom to the last.
    “God save Ireland!” said the heroes;
    “God save Ireland” said they all.
    Whether on the scaffold high
    Or the battlefield we die,
    Oh, what matter when for Erin dear we fall!
    Never till the latest day shall the memory pass away,
    Of the gallant lives thus given for our land;
    But on the cause must go, amidst joy and weal and woe,
    Till we make our Isle a nation free and grand.
    “God save Ireland!” said the heroes;
    “God save Ireland” said they all.
    Whether on the scaffold high
    Or the battlefield we die,
    Oh, what matter when for Erin dear we fall!

    The song is about the three Manchester Martyrs standing trial at the docks. The three men were executed and the song became the movements anthem. Its about the Irish wanting Ireland back and free from England. They wanted independence and were willing to die for it.

  3. Eric W 2 says:

    Irish Rebel Song

    – “The Wearing of the Green”
    by Dion Boucicault (1820-1890)

    O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
    The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
    No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen
    For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”
    I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand
    And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”
    “She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen
    For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”

    “So if the color we must wear be England’s cruel red
    Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed
    And pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod
    But never fear, ’twill take root there, though underfoot ’tis trod.

    When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow
    And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show
    Then I will change the color too I wear in my caubeen
    But till that day, please God, I’ll stick to the Wearin’ o’ the Green.

    —- This song is about how the Irish and England are at war. It explains how the Irish are loyal to their colors are will show their respect to their men that have fallen due to the war. These Irish men and women will were their color green to the end.

    http://www.last.fm/music/Irish+Rebel+Songs/_/The+Wearing+Of+The+Green

  4. Nik S. 2 says:

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007
    Sean Treacy (Tipperary So Far Away)
    Sean Treacy was killed during a shoot-out with British soldiers during the Irish war of independence(1919-1921). Treacy was one of the leaders of the South Tipperary brigade of the Irish Republican Army and was one of the main leaders of the War, along with Dan Breen and Sean Hogan.
    Treacy was shot dead in Talbot Street, Dublin on the 20th October 1920, after being recognised by a police detective.

    The [G] sun had set with it`s [D] golden rays
    And the [C] bitter [D] fight was [G] over
    Our [D] brave boys sleep [C] beneath the [D] clay,
    On [G] this earth they [C] are no [D] more
    The moon shone over the [C] battle[D]field
    Where a [G] dying [C] rebel [D] lay
    His [G] arms were crossed and his [D] body stretched,
    His [C] life blood [D] flowed [G] away
    There were none to weep for you Sean Treacy
    Or were keen in to sing in your praise
    To decide your deeds like the Gaels of yore
    On your face we no longer gaze
    In that kingdom of love may your dear soul rest
    On the word that we fervently pray
    That we`ll all meet above the old friends we love
    In Tipperary so far away
    The soldiers of Erin bore him high
    On their shoulders, they solemnly tread
    And many a heart with a tearful sigh
    Wept over our patriot dead
    In silence they lowered him into the grave
    To rest till his reckoning day
    Sean Treacy who died, his home to save
    In Tipperary so far away
    Tags: sean treacy, sean tracey, sean tracy, tipperary so far away, irish rebel songs, ira songs, dan breen, sean hogan, irish war of independence

    This song is about Irish rebels and war for independence. The war is never over for the rebels fighting for independence and the author died for fighting for his independence in this song. Its about the long war Ireland fights and how they never gave up the fight.

  5. Jamey H 3 says:

    Tipperary So Far Away/Sean Treacy/August 2007

    The song talks about how Sean Treacy was killed during a shoot-out with British soldiers during the Irish war of independence. The song talks about how Sean must be let go but is hard to do so. It also explains what is going through the minds of the people when he is getting buried.

    Lyrics:
    There were none to weep for you Sean Treacy
    Or were keen in to sing in your praise
    To decide your deeds like the Gaels of yore
    On your face we no longer gaze
    In that kingdom of love may your dear soul rest
    On the word that we fervently pray
    That we`ll all meet above the old friends we love
    In Tipperary so far away
    The soldiers of Erin bore him high
    On their shoulders, they solemnly tread
    And many a heart with a tearful sigh
    Wept over our patriot dead
    In silence they lowered him into the grave
    To rest till his reckoning day
    Sean Treacy who died, his home to save
    In Tipperary so far away

  6. KatelynC3 says:

    The Angel of Delight is about having a second chance and how you should confess the sins of your past. In the song it talks about how the man bedded a woman on her wedding night and how he should confess his sin to his family. It also talks about how the man went to the racing track and lost all his money. Also it talks about the angel setting him free from it all.

    The Angel of Delight

    I’ve heard it told from long ago That between these walls there lives a soul And he visits you in your deepest dreams Before too long she came to me A fairytale all dressed in green Softly spoken words that calmed me down

    I am the angel of delight I’ll give you pleasure to last the night I’ll give you a chance to put it right, then I’m gone So make the most of my courtesy You’re a lucky man to be set free So prove to me what you can really do

    So much to do, so little time Reveal the pressure and dull the mind I headed off to the nearest public house It took a lot to fill the slack Then I headed off to the racing track Nine to one, and I was all cleaned out

  7. Lindsey L 3 says:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1eifk_irish-rebel-song-a-snipers-promise_music

    Recorded:1916
    by The Wolfe Tones
    Snipers Promise

    This song is about Redemption, not ’bout war nor hate. Saying when the war end he will not fight anymore.

    The night was icy cold I stood along
    I was waiting for an army foot patrol
    And when at last they came into my sight
    I squeezed the trigger of my armalite
    Oh mama, oh mama comfort me
    For I know these awful things have got to be
    But when the war for freedom has been won
    I promise you I’ll put away my gun.
    A shot rang out, I heard a soldier cry
    “Oh please don’t leave me here alone to die”
    I realized his patrol had run away
    And left their wounded comrade for me to slay.

  8. ThomasM3 says:

    A Nation Once Again Covered by The Wolfe Tones
    Written by Thomas Osborne Davis in The 1830’s

    This song is supposed to captivate the youth of a nation. Meaning it was made to inspire people to unite together. It suggests that Ireland is divided amongst each other. It also tells you to persevere through hardships and to aspire to fight for your country any way you can.

    Lyrics:
    When boyhood’s fire was in my blood
    I read of ancient freemen,
    For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
    Three hundred men and three men;
    And then I prayed I yet might see
    Our fetters rent in twain,
    And Ireland. long a province, be
    A Nation once again!

    Chorus:
    A nation once again,
    A nation once again,
    And Ireland, long a province, be
    A Nation once again!

  9. Kidgell.K3 says:

    Title, writer, year: Four Green Fields
    Tommy Makem
    1967

    Four green fields is about an old women who has four fields. during the song strangers try and come take away her fields. The women has sons who try and defend the fields but end up dying. But in the end one of the field “shows the promise of new growth”. The song also shows Northern Ireland’s current status.

    What did I have, said the fine old woman
    What did I have, this proud old woman did say
    I had four green fields, each one was a jewel
    But strangers came and tried to take them from me
    I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels
    They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she

    Long time ago, said the fine old woman
    Long time ago, this proud old woman did say
    There was war and death, plundering and pillage
    My children starved, by mountain, valley and sea
    And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens
    My four green fields ran red with their blood, said she

    What have I now, said the fine old woman
    What have I now, this proud old woman did say
    I have four green fields, one of them’s in bondage
    In stranger’s hands, that tried to take it from me
    But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers
    My fourth green field will bloom once again said she

    youtube.com
    — Tommy Makem four green fields

  10. Corneliusen.K3 says:

    follow me up to Carlow, By Fiach Mac Aodh O Broin, 1919

    FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW

    Lift MacCahir Og your face brooding o’er the old disgrace
    That black FitzWilliam stormed your place, drove you to the Fern
    Grey said victory was sure soon the firebrand he’d secure;
    Until he met at Glenmalure with Feach MacHugh O’Byrne.

    Ch.: Curse and swear Lord Kildare
    Feagh will do what Feach will dare
    Now FitzWilliam, have a care
    Fallen is your star, low
    Up with halbert out with sword
    On we’ll go for by the lord
    Feach MacHugh has given the word,
    Follow me up to Carlow.

    See the swords of Glen Imayle, flashing o’er the English Pale
    See all the children of the Gael, beneath O’Byrne’s banners
    Rooster of the fighting stock, would you let a Saxon cock
    Crow out upon an Irish rock, fly up and teach him manners.

    From Tassagart to Clonmore, there flows a stream of Saxon gore
    Och, great is Rory Oge O’More, sending the loons to Hades.
    White is sick and Lane is fled, now for black FitzWilliam’s head
    We’ll send it over, dripping red, to Queen Liza and the ladies.

    The song is talking about a Battle in Glenmalure. they defeated English solders. they killed more then 3,000 solders in the 16 century. In the song O’Byrne is talking about his battle against Rory Oge O’More. He says he will never back down until all there swords are gone.

  11. Parker K - P3 says:

    Fighting 69th by Dropkick Murphy’s (1999)

    The song Fighting 69th is about soldiers fighting for their country. The song is a tribute towards the soldiers of Ireland. The soldiers leave on a ship while their families are sitting on the dock crying, hoping they make it back home safely. They leave New York to Ireland. The song is a tribute to Murphy and Devine.

    69th
    Come all you gallant heroes,
    And along with me combined
    I’ll sing a song, it won’t take long,
    Of the Fighting Sixty Ninth
    They’re a band of men brave, stout and bold,
    From Ireland they came
    And they have a leader to the fold,
    And Cocoran was his name

    It was in the month of April,
    When the boys they sailed away
    And they made a sight so glorious,
    As they marched along Broadway
    They marched right down Broadway, me boys,
    Until they reached the shore
    And from there they went to Washington,
    And straight unto the war

    [Chorus:]
    So we gave them a hearty cheer, me boys,
    It was greeted with a smile
    Singing here’s to the boys who feared no noise,
    We’re the Fighting Sixty Ninth

    And when the war is said and done,
    May heaven spare our lives
    For it’s only then we can return,
    To our loved ones and our wives
    We’ll take them in our arms, me boys,
    For a long night and a day
    And we’ll hope that war will come no more,
    To sweet America

    [Chorus]

    So farewell unto you dear New York,
    Will I e’er see you once more
    For it fills my heart with sorrow,
    To leave your sovereign shore
    But the country now it is calling us,
    And we must hasten fore
    So here’s to the stars and stripes, me boys,
    And to Ireland’s lovely shore

    And here’s to Murphy and Devine,
    Of honour and renown
    Who did escort our heroes,
    Unto the battle ground
    And said unto our colonel,
    We must fight hand to hand
    Until we plant the stars and stripes,
    Way down in Dixieland

    LINK:

    http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Fighting-69th-lyrics-Dropkick-Murphys/D01EE4CDA526687D48256C22000C954C

  12. Hailey n. 2 says:

    The Lonely Woods of Upton
    Monday, August 13th, 2007
    Upton Ambush
    This ballad commemorates three members of the IRA who died in an attack on a troop train at Upton Junction, County Cork, on February 15th 1921. The men were John Whelan, Patrick O’Sullivan and Batt Foley.
    Many [G] homes are filled with sorrow and with [C] sadness,
    Many [D] hearts are filled with [D7] anguish and with [G] pain,
    For old Ireland now she hangs her head in [C] mourning,
    For the [D] men who fell at [D7] Upton for Sinn [G] Fein.
    Let the moon shine tonight along the valley,
    Where those lads who fought for freedom now are laid.
    May they rest in peace those men who died for Ireland,
    And who fell at Upton Ambush for Sinn Fein.
    Some were thinking of their mothers, wives and sweethearts,
    More were thinking of their dear old Irish homes
    Did they think of how they drilled along the valley,
    Or when they marched out from Cork city to their doom.
    The morning cry rang out: “Fix your bayonets”,
    And right gallantly they fixed them for the fray,
    Gallantly they fought and died for Ireland,
    Around the lonely woods at Upton far away.

    This song is talking about all the sorrow and the heat break of the town due to the war and disputes or the Irish. It also mentions the soldiers bravery and loyalty to their country and how they died for a cause, but unfortunately did not live to see the outcome.

  13. erinH1 says:

    Ambush at Drumnakilly Author: Gerry O’Glachin

    Ambush at Drumnakilly is about three volunteers of the Provisional IRA being killed on August 30, 1988 in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The IRA members, brothers, Martin and Gerard Harte and Brian Mullen(Bard) were attempting to kill a member of the Ulster Defence regiment when ambushed and killed by the Special Air Service. The men were out numbered and got shot down immediately.
    The Drumnakilly Ambush / Ambush at Drumnakilly
    Once again black flags are hoisted in the county of Tyrone
    Three more good men lie butchered by the forces of the crown
    We shed tears of grief and anger as the news spreads quickly round
    How the SAS had waited and without warning gunned them down.
    Now the green flag is wrapped around them
    Gloves and berets on their chests
    We salute three gallant soldiers
    As we lay them down to rest.
    On the road past Drumnakilly sorrow shrouds thae roadway still
    There the Sas men lay in ambush to do Maggie Thatchers will
    Like Loughall and like Gibralter British justice has no frills
    They came to Tyrone for vengeance and their orders were to kill.
    Now the green flag is wrapped around them
    Gloves and berets on their chests
    We salute three gallant soldiers
    As we lay them down to rest.
    Gerry and Martin Harte we’ve lost you we remember you with pride
    You both had so much to live for now your dreams have been denied
    Brian Mullin we shall miss you with your friendly smiling face
    Though you died with your fond comrades in our hearts you hold the place
    Now the green flag is wrapped around them
    Gloves and berets on their chests
    We salute three gallant soldiers
    As we lay them down to rest.
    Three brave volunteers are gone what is there left to say
    It was Ireland’s love that called them when they joined the IRA
    So let thatcher send her murderers to the hills of gree Tyrone
    It is she who will be mourning when we send her soldiers home.

  14. BLACK CAVALRY by The Clancy Brothers

    In the first of me downfall I put out the door,
    And I straight made me way on for Carrick-on-Suir;
    Going out by Rathronan ’twas late in the night
    Going out the west gate for to view the gaslight
    cho: Radley fal the diddle I
    Radley fal the riddle airo.

  15. michaelN1 says:

    Sean Treacy
    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007
    Sean Treacy (Tipperary So Far Away)
    Sean Treacy was killed during a shoot-out with British soldiers during the Irish war of independence(1919-1921). Treacy was one of the leaders of the South Tipperary brigade of the Irish Republican Army and was one of the main leaders of the War, along with Dan Breen and Sean Hogan.
    Treacy was shot dead in Talbot Street, Dublin on the 20th October 1920, after being recognised by a police detective.
    The [G] sun had set with it`s [D] golden rays
    And the [C] bitter [D] fight was [G] over
    Our [D] brave boys sleep [C] beneath the [D] clay,
    On [G] this earth they [C] are no [D] more
    The moon shone over the [C] battle[D]field
    Where a [G] dying [C] rebel [D] lay
    His [G] arms were crossed and his [D] body stretched,
    His [C] life blood [D] flowed [G] away
    There were none to weep for you Sean Treacy
    Or were keen in to sing in your praise
    To decide your deeds like the Gaels of yore
    On your face we no longer gaze
    In that kingdom of love may your dear soul rest
    On the word that we fervently pray
    That we`ll all meet above the old friends we love
    In Tipperary so far away
    The soldiers of Erin bore him high
    On their shoulders, they solemnly tread
    And many a heart with a tearful sigh
    Wept over our patriot dead
    In silence they lowered him into the grave
    To rest till his reckoning day
    Sean Treacy who died, his home to save
    In Tipperary so far away
    Tags: sean treacy, sean tracey, sean tracy, tipperary so far away, irish rebel songs, ira songs, dan breen, sean hogan, irish war of independence

    It has really cool lyrics because its kind of like a poem at the same time. The song is about Sean Tracy and how he died on the battle field with out anybody to weep over his body that now rests in the clay. But after a while people miss him and realize he is gone. In the beginning the author tells what had happened to him and he was shot by a police official that new him. He was shot because he was high ranking in the Irish army.

  16. John A3 says:

    Clashmealcon Caves-Irish Civil War Song

    the song is talking about the civil war in Ireland. It also says that the people of Ireland are willing to fight for there freedom. The song talks about the struggle for freedom and for peace like us. The United States had to against the same people which is the British. It tells about the price of freedom and the price is blood and dead young men. The song tells of men being beaten and how they will never stop no matter what happens.

    Lyrics

    It being on a Sunday morning early in the month of spring,
    The rifle shots rang in their ears, the chapel bell did ring,
    But louder still their shots rang out, you could hear the thunder roar,
    As the ambush it was taking place down by the Shannon shore.

    In Dunfort’s cave they took their stand, the last in Ireland’s rights,
    Three days and nights with rapid fire they nobly held the fight,
    Till worn out without relief they did at length give o’er
    And they gave their lives for Ireland down by the Shannon shore.

    McGrath and Shea were washed away as the foaming tide did rise,
    Their comrades knew that they were doomed when they heard their
    drowning cries,
    They knew they could not hold the fight, being then reduced to four,
    And they yielded to their enemies down by the Shannon shore.

    Ned Greaney, Mac and Hathaway in irons soon were bound
    And taken off to Tralee jail, where guilty they were found,
    They were placed before the firing squad, which quickly on them
    poured,
    And now they sleep in martyrs’ graves down by the Shannon shore.

    Their captain was a brave young man with a heart both light and bold
    It was said he knew that death was due as soon as he tied the rope,
    Timothy Lyons it was his name from a place called Garranagore
    And he too met his doom in his youthful bloom, down by the Shannon
    shore.

    Their comrades sorely miss them gone, their loss they now deplore,
    When strangers came to view the cave and roam along the shore,
    There to enjoy the pleasant time while other heats feel sore,
    And that will be for years to come down by the Shannon shore.

    And now to end this mournful rime, I have no more to say,
    The cave will be their monument and that for many a day.
    May God reward these guileless souls and blessing on them pour,
    Console their friends who miss them gone, down by the Shannon shore,

    Writer:
    Link: http://unitedireland.tripod.com/irish_rebel_songs.html

  17. Sydney K. 3 says:

    Title: “A Soldier’s Song”
    Writer: Peader Kearney
    Year: 1907 (originally)

    This song was written in 1907. Peadar Kearney wrote this song in 1907 but it was not widely known until it was sung at the GPO during the Easter Rising in 1916. It was also sang at various camps were republicans gathered. Soon after, it was adopted as the Irish National Anthem, replacing God Save Ireland. The second and third verses are hardly ever sung at occasions such as football games. Mostly the chorus is sung on its own.

    http://www.kinglaoghaire.com/site/lyrics/play.php?id=552

    The Soldier’s Song – Words / Lyrics

    We’ll sing a song, a soldier’s song,

    With cheering rousing chorus,

    As round our blazing fires we throng,

    The starry heavens o’er us;

    Impatient for the coming fight,

    And as we wait the morning’s light,

    Here in the silence of the night,

    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

    Chorus:

    Soldiers are we , whose lives are pledged to Ireland;

    Some have come from a land beyond the wave.

    Sworn to be free, No more our ancient sire land

    Shall shelter the despot or the slave.

    Tonight we man the gap of danger

    In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal

    ‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles peal,

    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

    In valley green, on towering crag,

    Our fathers fought before us,

    And conquered ‘neath the same old flag

    That’s proudly floating o’er us.

    We’re children of a fighting race,

    That never yet has known disgrace,

    And as we march, the foe to face,

    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

    Chorus

    Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!

    The long watched day is breaking;

    The serried ranks of Inisfail

    Shall set the Tyrant quaking.

    Our camp fires now are burning low;

    See in the east a silv’ry glow,

    Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,

    So chant a soldier’s song.

  18. Ariana Vullo says:

    Ambush at Drumnakilly/Gary O’Glachin/1988

    Ambush at Drumnakilly is an Irish rebel song about an event in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland which happened on August 30, 1988: 3 volunteers of the Provisional IRA, brothers Martin and Gerard Harte and Brian Mullin, were ambushed and killed by the Special Air Service. 236 shots were fired during the ambush.

    Once again black flags are hoisted in the county of Tyrone
    Three more good men lie butchered by the forces of the crown
    We shed tears of grief and anger as the news spreads quickly round
    How the SAS had waited and without warning gunned them down.
    Now the green flag is wrapped around them
    Gloves and berets on their chests
    We salute three gallant soldiers
    As we lay them down to rest.
    On the road past Drumnakilly sorrow shrouds thae roadway still
    There the Sas men lay in ambush to do Maggie Thatchers will
    Like Loughall and like Gibralter British justice has no frills
    They came to Tyrone for vengeance and their orders were to kill.
    Now the green flag is wrapped around them
    Gloves and berets on their chests
    We salute three gallant soldiers
    As we lay them down to rest.
    Gerry and Martin Harte we’ve lost you we remember you with pride
    You both had so much to live for now your dreams have been denied
    Brian Mullin we shall miss you with your friendly smiling face
    Though you died with your fond comrades in our hearts you hold the place
    Now the green flag is wrapped around them
    Gloves and berets on their chests
    We salute three gallant soldiers
    As we lay them down to rest.
    Three brave volunteers are gone what is there left to say
    It was Ireland’s love that called them when they joined the IRA
    So let thatcher send her murderers to the hills of gree Tyrone
    It is she who will be mourning when we send her soldiers home

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Soldiers’ Song

    National anthem of * Ireland
    Adopted 1926

    Music sample

    Amhrán na bhFiann (Instrumental)

    “The Soldiers’ Song, in English is the national anthem of Ireland. The music was composed by Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney, and the original English lyrics were authored (as “A Soldiers’ Song”) by Kearney. It is sung in the Irish language translation made by Liam Ó Rinn. The song has three verses, but the national anthem consists of the chorus only. The Presidential Salute, played when the President of Ireland arrives at an official engagement, consists of the first four bars of the national anthem immediately followed by the last five.

    A Soldiers Song

    We’ll sing a song, a soldier’s song,
    With cheering, rousing chorus,
    As round our blazing fires we throng,
    The starry heavens o’er us;
    Impatient for the coming fight,
    And as we wait the morning’s light,
    Here in the silence of the night
    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
    Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
    Some have come from a land beyond the wave.
    Sworn to be free, no more our ancient sireland
    Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
    Tonight we man the ‘bhearna bhaoil’,
    In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal;
    ‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles’ peal
    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
    In valley green, on towering crag,
    Our fathers fought before us,
    And conquered ‘neath that same old flag
    That’s proudly floating o’er us.
    We’re children of a fighting race
    That never yet has known disgrace,
    And as we march, the foe to face,
    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
    Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
    Some have come from a land beyond the wave.
    Sworn to be free, no more our ancient sireland
    Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
    Tonight we man the ‘bhearna bhaoil’,
    In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal;
    ‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles’ peal
    We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

  20. Tyler R. 2 says:

    “The Connaught Rangers” – by Charles Martin 1890

    The Connaught Rangers
    (Lieutenant Charles Martin, ca 1890)
    In our army we’re the best
    From the north, south east or west
    The best of boys are following the drum.
    We are mighty hard to bate,
    I may say without concate,
    Faith the enemy are welcome when they come.
    Be they Russiand, French or Dutch
    Sure it doesn’t matter much,
    We’re the boys to give ‘em sugar in their tay
    For we’re the Connaught Rangers,
    The lads to face all dangers,
    Fallaballah, fallaballah, Clear the way!
    cho:
    You may talk about your guards boys
    Your lancers and hussars boys
    Your fusiliers and royal artillery (without the guns)
    The girls we drive’em crazy, the foe we beat them easy
    The rangers from old Connaught, yaarrr, the land across the sea!
    Now allow me here to state,
    It is counted quite a trate,
    In old Ireland just for fight for friends’s sake
    To crack your neighbor’s head,
    Or maybe your own instead.
    Faith ’tis just the fun and glory of a wake
    So you see all Irish boys are accustomed to such noise
    It’s as natural as drinking whiskey neat.
    For there’s none among them all, from Kingston to Donegal,
    Like the gallant Connaught Ranger on his beat.
    Chorus
    T’was Bonaparte who said as the Frenchmen on he led
    Marshall Soult, be them the Rangers do you know?
    Faith says Soult, there’s no mistake, to our heels we’d better take
    I think it’s time for you and I to go.
    When the colleens hear their step, it makes their hearts to leap

    Aaargh, jewels will ye wist till Parrick’s day?
    For they are the Connaught Rangers, the boys that fear no dangers
    And they’re the lads that always take the sway.
    Chorus
    Now you haven’t far to search, for the lads who best can march
    The lads that never fear the longest day,
    Faith you easily will know, their dashing step will show
    Tis the Connaught boys who always lead the way.
    If me words perhaps you doubt, come and join ‘em on a route
    I’m thinkin’ you’ll not find it quite a treat;
    You’ll see them in the van, you may catch them if you can
    Faith you’ll have to travel fast or you’ll be late.
    Chorus
    From Songs and Music of the Redcoats, Winstock
    Note: The Connaght Rangers, to the best of my recollection, were
    a Northern Irish group in the British Army. They helped put
    down the ’98 rebellion.

    The song talks about the Connaught Rangers and how they are the best in the world. They fought for the Irish side and were total bad asses. They wanted independence and were not afraid to fight for it.

  21. Sarah W.2 says:

    You’ll Never Beat the Irish is an Irish rebel song by Wolfe Tones. Its about how England came over and made their land a battle ground. They are saying that England came over just for the natural resources that Ireland has. Its also about how the Irish are strong and will never give up on their country and no one will take it from them.

    Part 1
    In 1167 they came to Ireland on the make
    they were followed by invasions and by
    conquests in their wake
    the kings and queens of England
    made our land a battle ground
    they took our land, by fraud defeat,
    by poison murder and deceit
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    By the 15th century they held precariously to The Pale
    the invaders were more Irish than the Irish that’s the tale,
    a fat greedy king called Henry
    his dick was bigger than his brain
    imposed on us his Reformation
    confiscations and usurpation
    You’ll never beat the Irish
    no matter what you do
    you can put us down and keep us out
    but we’ll come back again
    you know we are the fighting Irish
    and we’ll fight until the end
    you should have known
    you’ll never beat the Irish
    Then the virgin Queen Elizabeth brought
    war and turmoil to our land
    she decimated Munster scorched the
    earth and all at hand,
    then James 1st and Charles the mad
    brought out other greedy bands
    they took the land of Ulster killed the
    chieftains poisoned plundered
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    By fraud and defective titles they
    cheated Connaught and the west
    across the seventeenth century
    from war we had no rest
    for the curse of Cromwell plagued the land
    till our towns were red with blood
    then the Battle of the Boyne was fought
    by William, James and foreign hoards
    You’ll never beat the Irish
    no matter what you do
    you can kill us off and put us down
    but we’ll come back again
    and exterminate us too
    we are the fighting Irish
    we’ll fight untill the end
    you should’ve known
    You’d never beat the Irish
    Part 2
    Was at Siege of Limerick that
    Patrick Sarsfield won the day
    but they Irish they were cheated
    when his army went away
    then Queen Ann and her successors
    enforced on us those Penal Laws
    denying their rights and liberty
    of religion lands and property
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    Then came the three mad Georges
    and they had us nearly fooled
    they couldn’t speak the lingo
    of the coutries that they ruled
    puppets of the ascendancy they kept the Irish down
    but the rebels and the whiteboys kept
    their armies and their forces on the run
    You’ll never beat the Irish
    no matter what you do
    you can put us down and keep us out
    but we’ll come back again
    you know we are the fighting Irish
    and we’ll fight until the end
    you should have known
    you’ll never beat the Irish
    Then the famine Queen Victoria
    came to rule us by and by
    she was on the throne so bloody long
    we thought she’d never die
    she presided over hunger
    famine poverty and disease
    she drove the people from their home
    to their deaths or lands beyond the foam
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    Across the 19th century we fought oppression
    with great zeal
    O’Connell spoke his blarney
    for emancipation and repeal
    Young Ireland and the Fenians
    tried with dynamite and gun
    Parnell, the Men of Sixteen, then Collins
    had their army on the run
    You’ll never beat the Irish
    no matter what you do
    you can kill us off and put us down
    but we’ll come back again
    and exterminate us too
    we are the fighting Irish
    we’ll fight untill the end
    you should’ve known
    You’d never beat the Irish
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    Part 3
    In 1922 well they divided up our land
    Six counties held by England, it was all they could command
    against the wishes of the majority of the people of our land
    they drew a border through our country, through town and home and mountains
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    Then the country was engulfed into a bloody civil war
    between those against the treaty, and those who voted for
    George the IV, he opened Parliament
    for the stalled in the north
    while the rest were building Ireland
    from the ruined colonial lashes
    You’ll never beat the Irish
    no matter what you do
    you can put us down and keep us out
    but we’ll come back again
    you know we are the fighting Irish
    and we’ll fight until the end
    you should have known
    you’ll never beat the Irish
    Then Edward, George and Elizabeth, looked after Ireland’s fate
    they watched discrimination grow in a gerrymandered state
    homes and churches burnt, while the orange power did grew
    discrimination bigotry in housing, jobs and liberties
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    From the ashes of the past, the Phoenix did emerge
    a new declared republic, on the world it did converge
    the search for piece, prosperity and unity in our land
    we too are locked in Europe, till they made their peace agreement
    You’ll never beat the Irish
    no matter what you do
    you can kill us off and put us down
    but we’ll come back again
    and exterminate us too
    we are the fighting Irish
    we’ll fight until the end
    you should’ve known
    You’d never beat the Irish
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do
    Murder plunder faugh a balla clear the way
    cheating stealing diddle idle de
    ducking diving faugh a bala clear the way
    diddlily i dle de di diddly idle do

  22. A.Quast says:

    Song: The Wearing Of The Green
    Artist: Dion Boucicault
    Year: 1864

    This song is originally an Irish Street Ballad by an anonymous source that dates back to 1798. This song is about the repression of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. If you wore a shamrock in your hat it was a sign of rebellion because green was the color of the Society of the United Irishmen. During this time, wearing revolutionary insignia could result in being hung. Many versions of this song exist but the most well known version is by Dion Boicicault.

    Lyrics:
    O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that going round?
    The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
    St. Patrick’s Day no more we’ll keep, his colours can’t be seen,
    For there’s a bloody law against the wearing of the green.
    I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand,
    And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”
    She’s the most distressful counterie that ever yet was seen,
    And they’re hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.
    Then since the colour we must wear is England’s cruel red,
    Sure Ireland’s sons will ne’er forget the blood that they have shed.
    You may take a shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,
    It will take root and flourish there though underfoot it’s trod.
    When law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow,
    And when the leaves in summer-time their verdure dare not show,
    Then will I change the colour that I wear in my caubeen
    But ’till that day, please God, I’ll stick to wearing of the green.
    But if at last our colour should be torn from Ireland’s heart,
    Our sons with shame and sorrow from this dear old isle will part;
    I’ve heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea
    Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom’s day.
    O Erin, must we leave you driven by a tyrant’s hand?
    Must we ask a mother’s blessing from a strange and distant land?
    Where the cruel cross of England shall nevermore be seen,
    And where, please God, we’ll live and die still wearing of the green!

  23. kari.s-2 says:

    Come Out Ye Black and Tan
    Words by Dominic Behan
    Came out in the 1920’s.

    I was born on a Dublin street where the Royal drums do beat
    And the loving English feet they tramped all over us,
    And each and every night when me father’d come home tight
    He’d invite the neighbors outside with this chorus:
    Oh, come out you black and tans,
    Come out and fight me like a man
    Show your wives how you won medals down in Flanders
    Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away,
    From the green and lovely lanes in Killashandra.
    Come let me hear you tell
    How you slammed the great Pernell,
    When you fought them well and truly persecuted,
    Where are the smears and jeers
    That you bravely let us hear
    When our heroes of sixteen were executed.
    Come tell us how you slew
    Those brave Arabs two by two
    Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows,
    How you bravely slew each one
    With your sixteen pounder gun
    And you frightened them poor natives to their marrow.
    The day is coming fast
    And the time is here at last,
    When each yeoman will be cast aside before us,
    And if there be a need
    Sure my kids wil sing, “Godspeed!”
    With a verse or two of Steven Beehan’s chorus.

    The lyrics are rich with references to the history of Irish nationalism and the activities of the British Army throughout the world. The song ties Irish nationalism to the struggles of other peoples against the British Empire across the world. While the title of the song refers to the Black and Tans of the War of Independence era, the specific context of the song is a dispute between Irish republican and loyalist neighbors in inner-city Dublin in the 1920s. The reference to Flanders alludes to the fact that some Black and Tans were unemployed British Army veterans from the First World War.
    http://www.thebards.net/music/lyrics/Come_Out_Black_Tans.shtml

  24. Jroberts says:

    Erin Go Bragh
    by Wolfe Tones

    It is talking about Irishmen fighting for their country. Erin Go Bragh is also an Irish phrase that the rebels use to pronounce their Irish heritage.

    I’ll tell you a story of a row in the town,
    When the green flag went up and the Crown rag came down,
    ‘Twas the neatest and sweetest thing ever you saw,
    And they played the best games played in Erin Go Bragh.

    One of our comrades was down at Ring’s end,
    For the honor of Ireland to hold and defend,
    He had no veteran soldiers but volunteers raw,
    Playing sweet Mauser music for Erin Go Bragh.

    Now here’s to Pat Pearse and our comrades who died
    Tom Clark, MacDonagh, MacDiarmada, McBryde,
    And here’s to James Connolly who gave one hurrah,
    And placed the machine guns for Erin Go Bragh.

    One brave English captain was ranting that day,
    Saying, “Give me one hour and I’ll blow you away,”
    But a big Mauser bullet got stuck in his craw,
    And he died of lead poisoning in Erin Go Bragh.

    Old Ceannt and his comrades like lions at bay,
    From the South Dublin Union poured death and dismay,
    And what was their horror when the Englishmen saw
    All the dead khaki soldiers in Erin Go Bragh.

    Now here’s to old Dublin, and here’s her renown,
    In the long generation her fame will go down,
    And our children will tell how their forefathers saw,
    The red blaze of freedom in Erin Go Braugh.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBkQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dq3Nqg2ohiDY&rct=j&q=wolfe%20tones%20erin%20go%20bragh&ei=ewdxTf3pM5S2sAOf6tTQCw&usg=AFQjCNH1U1kWGX-W0lFB8CKJa4ho4qraDA&cad=rja

  25. *Dominic Behan, year 2000, The Black And Tans:Come Out You Black And Tans. Its talking about the British paramilitary police auxiliary force in Ireland. He wrote it for his dad

  26. The Irish rebel somg “A Nation Once Again” speaks about many years of the rebelions against the British Nations. I believe that to fights the Irish fought in America ment more to them than helping the Americans. Fighting the English was deep in their roots and blood, something they had to do.

    The Irish Rebel song “Go On Home British Soldiers” States, “go on home British soldiers, go on home. Have you got no fuckin’ homes of your own.” This quote goes along with what i said in the previous song details, that the Irish has a deep hatred for the Britians. The divions and conflicts concerning the land off the Southern coast of the island of Ireland has been fought over for many years,this song is proof that the Irish cannot stand the Bristish having any control over the land that is located on the same island.

  27. kMartin1 says:

    Song: A Sniper’s Promise
    Artist: The Wolfe Tones
    Recorded: 1916

    [dailymotion id=x1eifk]

  28. Jayme Stewart p.1 says:

    The Wolfe Tones version of A Nation Once Again talks about how he dreamed and read about the nation being one and wishes for it to be again.

  29. C. Focht 1 says:

    Dropkick Murphys – “Johny I Hardly Knew Ya” (2007) An anti-war and anti-recruiting song that goes back to the 19th century when Irish troops served the Brithish East India Company.

    (http://www.last.fm/music/Dropkick+Murphys/+videos/+1-Yg_rf2d894k)

  30. kaylab1 says:

    BURNTOLLET BRIDGE AMBUSH:
    Words: Wyld
    Air: “Boys of Sandy Row”
    Sung by: Wyld
    Accompaniment: Accordion, guitar, percussion

    Come all who fight for liberty,
    And hear me tell my tale,
    Think on the first January,
    In dear old Granuaille,
    Resolved to march to Derry
    We left old Belfast town,
    Burntollet we’ll remember
    Where they tried to club us down.

    The gentry organized thugs image
    To halt the march at Antrim,
    Advised by Major Bunting,
    The Orange poet pilgrim,
    As darkness fell more hostile groups
    Came from the county manse,
    With black thorn sticks and cudgels,
    Honi soit qui’ mai y pense.

    We slept that night at Whitehall,
    Wakened by a bomb scare,
    The second day of January
    To Toome we did repair,
    But Randalstown proved difficult,
    Harrassed along the way,
    Chichester Clarke and Robin
    Came out to see fair play.

    BUT FREEDOM SHINES BEFORE US LADS
    WE’LL SEEK IT DAY BY DAY,
    AND IF WE STRIVE AND PERSEVERE;
    SHE’LL MEET US HALF THE WAY.

    We were cheered on at Galladuff
    And heard with great dismay,
    That Orangemen at Maghera
    Had cudgels on display,
    T’was council given by the cops,
    Those men of great renown,
    So in Brackaghreilly Hall
    That night we slept, outside the town.

    The bleak Glenshane we crossed o’er,
    Farrell took command,
    Dungiven town was cordoned off,
    The police bid us to stand,
    We formed in ranks with arms linked,
    The cordon broke in twain,
    To Feeney marched victorious,
    Our ranks we did maintain.

    We slept that night at Claudy,
    Sixty miles from Belfast,
    Abused and harrassed every mile,
    We suffered for our protest,
    Non-violence our slogan,
    One family, one house,
    One man, one job, one man, one vote,
    Repeal repressive laws.

    THEN COURAGE BOYS, THE DAY WILL COME,
    TO SOOTHE OUR TOIL AND PAIN,
    WE’LL LIFT NO HAND OR WEAPON,
    THEIR ANGER TO INFLAME.

    January Fourth, Paisley, Paisley was the cry,
    Burntollet we had reached.
    Bricks and bottles from the sky,
    Get the bastards, fenian whores,
    Club the students down,
    Make sure their skulls are cracked
    Before they reach Derry town.

    With long spiked clubs beat their legs,
    Throw them in the river,
    Drag them over broken glass,
    For Paisley, our deliverer.
    Save the police, help them run,
    Get them to their tenders,
    Iron bars, clubs and bottles;
    Christ, they won’t defend us.

    Spencer Road in Derry,
    We’ve made it with our blood,
    More bricks and bottles, from the crown,
    Came from the friends of God,
    Over the Craigavon Bridge
    And into Guildhall Square,
    The downfall of the police
    Began in Derry’s city fair.

    SO JOIN WITH HEAD,
    WITH HEART AND HAND
    AND DRIVE DESPAIR AWAY,
    BETTER TIMES ARE COMING FRIENDS,
    WE’LL MARCH AND WIN THE DAY.

  31. J.Giesick says:

    Michael Collins- Irish Rebel Song 1915
    This song is about the civil war between the Irish Catholic and the Procrastinates.
    Michael Collins dies during the war in 1922

  32. Michael Collins-Irish Rebel Song


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