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Ninety miles form Dublin

I'm ninety miles form Dublin town 
I'm in an H-Block cell 
To help you understand me plight 
This story now I'll tell 
I'm on the blanket protest 
My efforts must not fail 
For I'm joined by men and women 
In the Kesh and Armagh jail 

It all began one morning 
I was dragged to Castleragh 
And though it was three years ago 
It seems like yesterday 
For three days kicked and beaten 
I then was forced to sign 
Confessions that convicted me 
Of deeds that were not mine 

Sentenced in a Diplock court 
My protest it began 
I could not wear this prison gear 
I was a blanket man 
I'll not accept their status 
I'll not be criminalised 
That's the issue in the blocks 
For which we give our lives 

Over there in London town 
Oh how they'd laugh and sneer 
If they could only make us wear 
Their loathsome prison gear 
Prisoners of war that's what we are 
And that we must remain 
The blanket protest cannot end 
Till status we regain 

I've been beaten round the romper room 
Because I won't say 'Sir' 
I've been frog marched down the landing 
And dragged back by the hair 
I've suffered degradation 
Humility and pain 
Still the spirit does not falter 
British torture is in vain 

I've been held in scalding water 
While me back with deck scrubs was tore 
I've beenscratched and cut from head to foot 
Then thrown out on the floor 
I've suffered mirror searches 
Been probed by drunken bears 
I've heard me comrades cry and scream 
Then utter useless prayers 

Now with the news that's coming in 
Our protest must not fail 
For now we're joined by thirty girls 
In Armagh's women's jail 
So pay attention Irishmen 
And Irish women too 
And show the Free State rulers that 
Their silence will not do 

Though it's ninety miles from Dublin town 
It seems so far away 
There's more attention to our plight 
In the USA 
Now you've heard the story 
Of this filthy living hell 
Remember ninety miles away 
I'm still in an H-Block cell 
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(William Rooney) 

Still forms, grey dust, black stones in Dublin city, 
A grave in green Kildare, 
And many a grassy mound that moves our pity 
O'er Erin everywhere; 

Cave Hill above the Lagan's noises rearing 
Her shaggy head in pride; 
Lone Ednavady's brow and Antrim staring 
Across Lough Neagh's rough tide; 

Killala still her weary watch maintaining 
Beside the ocean's boom, 
And Castlebar in faithful guard remaining 
Around the Frenchmen's tomb. 

Ross, Wexford, Gorey, Oulart, Tubberneering, 
And many a Wicklow glen 
That knew the dauntless souls and hearts unfearing 
Of Dwyer and all his men 

These, through a hundred years of gloom and doubting 
Speak trumpet-toned to-day, 
Above the cry of creed and faction's shouting 
To tread the olden way. 

These, in the hearts of all the true men, waken 
The olden fires anew; 
These tell of hope unquenched and faith unshaken, 
Of something still to do. 

They bring us visions, full of tears and sorrow, 
Of homes and hearts left lone; 
Of eyes grown dim with watching for a morrow 
Of joy that never shone. 

But, too, they whisper notes of preparation 
And strength beyond the seas, 
Of hope outliving night and desolation 
Through all the centuries. 

Then to the staff-head let our flag ascending, 
Our fires on every hill 
Tell to the nations of the earth attending 
We wage the battle still 

Tell to the nations, though the grass is o'er them, 
For many a weary year, 
Our fathers' souls still thrill the land that bore them, 
Their spirit still is there. 

And by their graves we swear this year of story 
To battle side by side, 
Till Freedom crowns with immemorial glory 
The Cause for which they died. 
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Nineteen eighty four

The vans they come in convoys now 
Stealing through the dawn 
Silent in the countryside 
In the hills up to the north 
There´s road blocks on the Meden bridge 
There´s click click clicking on the phone 
They´re sealing off our villages 
Sealing off our homes 
Her father crossed the battle lines 
In the first months of the war 
She frowns down at the soup kitchen 
She doesn´t have a father anymore 
It´s cold in the early mornings 
Standing with your mates 
Staring at the thick blue line 
Armed and ready at the gates 

This ain´t some tinpot story arriving from a distant shore 
But or own sweet green and pleasant land in 1984 

The servants of our great nation 
Have lied in the name of us all 
While the officers of peace and order 
Are busy breaking every law 
There´s hundreds on trumped-up charges 
Hundreds on the streets 
The future of our villages 
Sown with bitter seeds 

And hatred starts to rumble where there was no hate before 
In our own sweet green and pleasant land in 1984 

Nobody wanted to see the blood 
As the blue lights flash through in the night 
But all the words fell on deaf ears 
And now the blind frustration bites 

Two nations under one crown divided more and more 
In our own sweet green and pleasant land in 1984 

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My name it is Nell, and the truth for to tell
I come from Cootehill, which I'll never deny
I had a large drake, and the truth for to speak
My grandmother left me, and she going to die
He was wholesome and sound; he weighed twenty pound
And the universe 'round I would rove for his sake
Bad luck to the robber, be he drunk or sober
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake

His neck it was green, he was rare to be seen
He was fit for a Queen of the highest degree
His body so white, it would give you delight
He was fat, plump and heavy, and brisk as a bee
My dear little fellow, his legs, they were yellow
He would fly like a swallow, and swim like a hake
Until some wicked savage, to grease his white cabbage
He murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt
May a ghost always haunt him in the dead of the night
May his hen never lay, may his ass never bray
May his coat fly away like an old paper kite
May the lice and the fleas the wretch ever tease
May the pinching north breeze make him tremble and shake
May a four-year-old bug build a nest in the lug
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake

May his cock never crow, may his bellows ne'er blow
And a-pot or po, may he never have one
May his cradle not rock, may his box have no lock
May his wife have no smock to shield her back bone
May his duck never quack, and his goose turn quite black
And pull down the turf with his long yellow beak
May scurvy and itch, not depart from the breech
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake

May his pipe never smoke, may his teapot be broke
And to add to the joke may his kettle not boil
May he lay in the bed 'till the moment he's dead
May he always be fed on lob-scouse and fish oil
May he swell with the gout, may his grinders fall out
May he roar, bawl and shout, with the horrid toothache
May his temples wear horns, and all his toes corns
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake

May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig
Every nit on his head be as large as a snail
May his house have no thatch and his door have no latch
May his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his meal
May every old fairy from Cork to Dunleary
Dip him in snug and easy in some pond or lake
Where the eel and the trout may slime in the snout
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake

May his dog yelp and growl with hunger and cold
May his wife always scold 'till his brain goes astray
May the curse of each hag, that e'er carried a bag
Alight on his nag till his beard it turns grey
May monkeys still bite him, and man-apes affright him
And everyone slight him asleep or awake
May weasels still gnaw him, and jackdaws still claw him
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake

Then all the good news l have to diffuse
'Tis for Peter Hughes, and blind Peter McFree
There's big nosed Bob Manson, and buck-toothed Ned Hanson
Each man has a grandson of my darling Drake
My bird he had dozens of nephews and cousins
And one I must get or my heart it will break
To keep my mind easy or else l'll run crazy
So this ends the song of Nell Flaherty's Drake

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(The Dubliners)

Oh well, poor aul' Admiral Nelson is no longer in the air
On the eighth day of March, in Dublin city fair
from his stand of stones and mortar
he fell crashing through the quarter
where once he stood so stiff and proud and rude!
So let's sing our celebration
as a service to the nation
so poor aul' admiral Nelson, toodle-oo!

Of fifty pounds of gelignite it sped him on his way
and the lad that laid the charge, we're in debt to him today!
In Trafalgar Square it might be fair
to leave aul' Nelson standing there
but no one tells the Irish what they'll view!
So the Dublin Corporation
can stop deliberations
for the boys of Ireland showed them what to do

A hundred and fifty-seven years it stood up there in state
to mark aul' Nelson's victory o'er the French and Spanish fleet
But 1:30 in the morning
without a bit of warning
aul' Nelson took a powder, and he blew!
So at last the Irish nation
had Parnell in higher station
than good old admiral Nelson, toodle-oo!

Oh the Russians and the Yanks with their lunar probes they play
and I hear the French are trying hard to make up lost headway
But now the Irish join the race
we have an astronaut in space!
Ireland, boys, is now a world power, too!
So let's sing our celebration
as a service to the nation
so poor aul' admiral Nelson, toodle-oo!

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I'm a decent boy just landed
From the town of Ballyfad
I want a situation, yes
And want it very bad
I have seen employment advertised
"It's just the thing" says I
"But the dirty spalpeen ended with
'No Irish Need Apply' "

"Whoa," says I, "that's an insult
But to get the place I'll try"
So I went to see the blackguard
With his "No Irish Need Apply"
Some do count it a misfortune
To be christened Pat or Dan
But to me it is an honor
To be born an Irishman

I started out to find the house,
I got it mighty soon
There I found the old chap seated
He was reading the Tribune
I told him what I came for
When he in a rage did fly
"No!" he says, "You are a Paddy
And no Irish need apply"

Then I gets my dander rising
And I'd like to black his eye
To tell an Irish gentleman
"No Irish Need Apply"
Some do count it a misfortune
To be christened Pat or Dan
But to me it is an honor
To be born an Irishman

I couldn't stand it longer
So a hold of him I took
And gave him such a welting
As he'd get at Donnybrook
He hollered, "Milia murther"
And to get away did try
And swore he'd never write again
"No Irish Need Apply"

Well he made a big apology
I told him then goodbye
Saying, "When next you want a beating
Write 'No Irish Need Apply' "
Some do count it a misfortune
To be christened Pat or Dan
But to me it is an honor
To be born an Irishman

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