Songs with guitar chords

Welcome to the Ireland First! - Guitar chords music archive.

A collection of 21 Irish rebel songs and their guitar chords. These songs were all collected by me from various sources on the Internet in my attempt to make this site more useful for it's visitors and my attempt to bring such songs together in one place. Corrections and additions welcome! Contact me here.

Choose a song title below, or return to the music index.

The Rising of the Moon. Broad Black Brimmer Dying Rebel Four Green Fields.
The Fenian Record Player. My Little Armalite Provo's Lullaby Roll of Honour
Fields of Athenry The man from the Daily Mailnew A nation once againnew Belfast Brigadenew
Bold Robert Emmettnew Boolavoguenew Boys of the old brigadenew James Connollynew
Kevin Barrynew Only our rivers run freenew Patriot Gamenew Sean South of Garryowennew
Foggy Dewnew      

line

THE RISING OF THE MOON John Keegan Casey (Leo)

Leo Casey (1846-1870) was proud of the efforts made by the United Irishmen of Longford and Westmeath in 1798. The "Singing River" is the Inny which flows into the Shannon from his native area between Mullingar and Ballymahon.

"Oh then, [G] tell me, Sean O'FarreIl, tell me [D] why you hurry so?"
"Huse, me [C] bouchal(*), hush and [G] listen," and his [D] cheeks were all a[G]glow:
"I bear orders from the captain - get you [D] ready quick and soon;
For the [C] pikes must be to[G]gether at the [D] risin' of the [G] moon."
"Oh, then tell me, Sean O'Farrell, where the gath'rin is to be?"
"ln the old spot by the river, right well known to you and me;
One more word - for signal token, whistle up the marchin' tune.
With your pike upon your shoulder, by the risin' of the moon."

Out from many a mud wall cabin eyes were watching through that night;
Many a manly heart was throbbing for the blessed warning light.
Murmurs passed along the valleys, like the banshee's lonely croon.
And a thousand blades were flashing at the risin' of the moon.

There, beside the singing river, that dark mass of men was seen,
Far above the shining weapons hung their own beloved green.
"Death to every foe and traitor! Forward! Strike the marchin' tune,
And hurrah, my boys, for freedom; 'tis the risin' of the moon.

" Well they fought for poor old Ireland, and full bitter was their fate;
Oh, what glorious pride and sorrow fills the name of Ninety-Eight!
Yet, thank God, e'en still are beating hearts in manhood's burning noon,
Who would follow in their footsteps at the risin' of the moon!

(*)boy.

Return to the top of the page.

line

THE BROAD BLACK BRIMMER (Noel Nagle)

There´s an [G] uniform that´s hanging in what´s [C] known as father´s [G] room
An uniform so simple in his [D] style.
It [G] has no braid of gold or silk no [C] hat with feathered [G] plume
Yet the mother has [C] preserved it [D] all the [G] while
One [C] day she made me try it on, a [G] wish of mine for years
"In memory of your father, son" she [Em] said
And [G] when I put the Sam Browne on she was [C] smiling with the [G] tears
As she placed the broad black [C] brimmer [D] on my [G] head

[chorus]
It´s [D] just a [G] broad black brimmer with [C] ribbons frayed and [G] torn
By the careless whisk of many a mountain [Em] breeze
An [G] old [C] trench [G] coat that´s [C] battle stained and [G] worn
And breeches almost [C] threadbare [D] at the [G] knees
A [C] Sam Brown belt with [G] buckle big and strong
A holster that´s been empty many´s a [Em] day
When [G] men claim Ireland´s freedom the [C] one who'll choose to [G] lead them
Will wear the broad black brimmer of the [D7]IR[G]A

It was the uniform been worn by me father long ago
When he reached me mothers homestead on the run
It was the uniform me father wore in that little church below
When oul Father Mac he blessed the pair as one
And after truce and treaty and the parting of the ways
He wore it when he marched out with the rest
And when they bore his body down that rugged heather braes
They placed the broad black brimmer on his breast

Return to the top of the page.

line

THE DYING REBEL

The [G] night was dark, and the [Am] fight was [G] over,
The moon shone [Em] down O'[D]Connell [G] Street,
I [C] stood [G] alone, where [Am] brave men [G] perished
Those men have [D] gone, their [C] God to [G] meet.

[chorus]
My only son was shot in Dublin,
Fighting for his country bold, He fought for Ireland, and Ireland only,
The Harp and Shamrock, Green, White and Gold.

The first I met was a grey-haired father Searching for his only son,
I said "Old man, there's no use searching For up to heaven, your son has gone"
The old man cried out broken hearted
Bending o'er I heard him say:
"I knew my son was too kind hearted,
I knew my son would never yield"

The next I met was a weeping mother
Kneeling o`er her young son sighing,
Her face was wet with a broken heart,
"God rest his soul I pray to thee"

The last I met was a dying rebel,
Bending low I heard him say:
"God bless my home in dear Cork City
God bless the cause for which I die."

Return to the top of the page.

line

FOUR GREEN FIELDS

[G] "What [D] did I [G] have?" said the [C] fine old [G] woman.
"What [D] did I [G] have?" this [C] proud old woman did [D] say
"I had [G] four [D] green [G] fields, each one [C] was a [D] jewel,
But [C] stran[D]gers [G] came and [C] tried to take them from [D] me
I had [G] fine [C] strong [G] sons, they fought to [C] save my [D] jewels;
They [C] fought [D] and [G] died, and [D] that was my [C] grief" said [G] 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 proud 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 have sons as brave as were their fathers;
My fourth green field shall bloom once again" said she.

Return to the top of the page.

line

The Fenian Record Player

Wee [G] Willie John McFadden was a loyal Ulster Prod
Who [C] thought that Ian Paisley was [D] one step down from God
He [G] scorned the little children, in the backstreets of Ardoyne
And he [C] thought that history started with the [D] Battle of the [G] Boyne (repeat)

One day he took the brick in his hands and dandered up the Falls
He was hollering 'Up the Rangers' and hummin' Derry's Walls
He broke the big shop window to annoy the Pope of Rome
He took the record player and then he started home (repeat)

Next night they had a hooley at the local Orange Hall
Wee Willie took his player to make music for the ball
He chose a stack of records of a very loyal kind
But when the music started he nearly lost his mind (repeat)

This Fenian record player was a rebel to the core
It played out songs the Orange Hall had never heard before
For Golly's Brae and Derry's Walls it didn't give a fig
It speeded up God Save the Queen till it sounded like a jig (repeat)

Well the boys were plain demented, to the ground Wee Will was thrown
They kicked his ribs in one by one to the tune of Garryowen
They threw him out the window to the song of Old Sinn Fein
They kicked him all down Sandy Row to a Nation Once Again (repeat)

There's a moral to this story, what it is I cannot say
Oh maybe its the ancient verse, crime it will not pay
If you ask Wee Willie McFadden, he'll say let crime be blown
If you want to pinch a record player, do it up the Shankill Road (repeat)

Return to the top of the page.

line

MY LITTLE ARMALITE

I was [G] stopped by a soldier he called me a Fenian swine
He [D] hit me with his rifle and he [G] kicked me in the [D] groin
I [G] begged and [C] pleaded told him [G] that I wouldn`t [D] fight
But sure [G] all that I could [Em] think of was my [D] little arma[G]lite

[chorus]
And it`s down in the Bogside that`s where I want to be
Lying in the dark with a Provo company
A comrade on my left and another one on my right
And a clip of ammunition for my little armalite

Well a brave RUC man came walking down our street
Six hundred British soldiers he had lined up at his feet
Come out you cowardly Fenians come on out and fight
But he cried I`m only joking when he heard our armalites

And its up along the Falls Road...

Now the Brits came to visit me twas in the early hours
With Saracens and Saladans and great big armoured cars
They thought they had me covered but I gave them all a fright
With the armour-piercing bullets from my little armalite

And it`s down in the New Lodge...

When big Harry came to Belfast he said the battles won
The generals had all told them that we were on the run
Their coorporals and privates went on patrol one night
They cried send home for reinforcements its those bloody armalites

And it`s out in Crossmaglen...

And it`s down in old Andy` town...

Return to the top of the page.

line

PROVO'S LULLABY

[chorus]
So [G] go to sleep my weary [C] Provo [Am]
[D7] Let the time go drifting [G] by [D]
[G] Can`t you hear those bullets [C] humming [Am]
[D] That`s the [D7] Provos lulla[G]by

Well I know your clothes are worn and tattered
And your hair is turning slightly grey
Someday you`ll die and go to heaven
And you`ll find peace again some day

Well I know those peelers gave you trouble
They cause trouble everywhere
Someday you`ll die and go to heaven
There`ll be no black bastards over there

Return to the top of the page.

line

ROLL OF HONOUR O'Glacain

[chorus]
[G] Read the roll of [Em] honour for [C] Ireland's bravest [G] men
We must be [Em] united in [Am] memory of the [D] ten,
[G] England you're a [Em] monster, don't [C] think that you have [G] won
We will never [C] be de[G]feated while Ireland [D] has such [G] sons.

In those dreary H-Block cages ten brave young Irishmen lay
Hungering for justice as their young lives ebbed away,
For their rights as Irish soldiers and to free their native land
They stood beside their leader - the gallant Bobby Sands.
Now they mourn Hughes in Bellaghy, Ray McCreesh in Armagh's hills
In those narrow streets of Derry they miss O'Hara still,
They so proudly gave their young lives to break Britannia's hold
Their names will be remembered as history unfolds.

Through the war torn streets of Ulster the black flags did sadly sway
To salute ten Irish martyrs the bravest of the brave,
Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty
They gave their lives for freedom with Thomas McElwee.
Michael Devine from Derry you were the last to die
With your nine brave companions with the martyred dead you lie
Your souls cry out "Remember, our deaths were not in vain.
Fight on and make our homeland a nation once again !"

©copyrights reserved The Irish Brigade

Return to the top of the page.

line

THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY Brendan McEwen

[G] By a lonely prison [C] wall, I [G] heard a young girl [D] calling
[G] "Michael they are [C] taking you [D] away,
For you [G] stole Travellyn's [C] corn so the [G] young might see the [D] morn'
Now a prison ship lies [D7] waiting in the [G] bay."

[chorus]
[G] Low [C] lie the [G] fields of [Em] Athenry
Where [G] once we watched the small free birds [D] fly.
Our [G] love was on the [C] wing, we had [G] dreams and songs to [D] sing.
It's so lonely 'round the [D7] fields of [G] Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young man calling
"Nothing matters Mary, when you're free.
Against the Famine and the Crown, I rebelled, they ran me down.
Now you must raise our child with dignity."

By a lonely harbor wall, she watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky.
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray for her love in Botany Bay,
Its so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

Return to the top of the page.

line

The man from the Daily Mail

Oh [G] Ireland is a very funny place sir it`s a [C] strange old troubled [G] land
And the Irish are a very funny race sir every [C] girls in the Cumann na [D] mBan
Every [G] doggy has a tricoloured ribbon tied [C] firmly to it`s [G] tail
And it [C] wouldn`t be surprising if there`d [G] be another rising
said the man from the [D] Daily [G] Mail

[chorus]
[G] Every bird upon my word sing [Em] Yo-Ho im a Provo
Every [G] hen, it`s said, is laying hand grenades, over [D] there sir, i [G] declare sir
And [C] every cock in the [G] farmyard stock [C] crowin for the [D] Gael
And it [C] wouldn`t be surprising there`d [G] be another rising
said the man from the [D] Daily [G] Mail

The other day I travelled down to Clare sir and I spied an old boreen
There were a bunch of Fenians gathered there sir dressed in orange, white and green
They were marching to the German goose-step and whistling Grain Mhoil
And I`m shaking in my shoes as I`m sending out the news
says the man from the Daily Mail

The whole country is seeded with sedition, it`s Sinn Fein through and through
All the people they are joining the Provisionals and the password is Sinn Fein too
The IRA sent me a time bomb in the mail
They sent it from the Curragh and they`re getting out tomorrow
said the man from the Daily Mail

Return to the top of the page.

line

A nation once again

This song was written by Thomas Davis(1814-1845),one of the founder members of the Young Ireland Movement,set up to fight for human rights for Catholics and ultimately Independence from Britain.The song reflects the patriotism of it's author and his great friends Daniel O'Connell,whom a street in Dublin is named after,and John Mitchell.

G                            

When boyhood's fire was in my blood

   C         D7       G

I read of ancient freemen

                          Em            G         C

For Greece and Rome who bravely stood

          Am        D7      

Three hundred men and three men

        D                

And then I prayed I yet might see

       C        A7     B7

Our fetters rent in twain

        C        Cm     D    

And Ireland long a province be

    Am      D         G

A Nation Once Again

(Chorus)

                        C

A nation once again

    Am               D7

A nation once again

        G         Em     C           D

And Ireland long a province be

     G        D         G

A Nation Once Again

It whispered too that freedom's ark
That service high and holy
Would be profaned by feelings dark
And passions vain and lowly
For freedom comes from God's right hand
And needs a Godly train
And righteous men must make out land
A Nation Once Again

[Chorus repeat]

So as I grew from boy to man
I bent me to that bidding
My spirit of each selfish plan
And cruel passion ridding
For thus I hoped some day to aid
Oh, can such hope be vain
When my dear country should be made
A Nation Once Again

[Chorus repeat]

Return to the top of the page.

line

Belfast Brigade

Another firm favourite celebrating the Belfast Brigade of the Irish Republican Army.The Belfast Brigade of the IRA takes in 3 Battalions, the third which the song sings about contains such areas as the New Lodge Road and Ardoyne in North Belfast and also Short Strand and the Markets areas in the East of the city.

G

Craigavon sent the Specials out to shoot the people down

C                                                 G

He thought the IRA were dead in dear old Belfast town

G                                                      B7         Em

But he got a rude awakening with the rifle and grenade

               Am                D                 C             G

When he met the 3rd Battalion of the Belfast Brigade.

Chorus:
Glory, glory to old Ireland, glory, glory to this island
Glory to the memories of the men who fought and dies
"No surrender" is the war cry of the Belfast Brigade.


These soldiers came from Holywood equipped with English guns
They had men by the thousands, ammunition by the ton
But when they got to Belfast they were seriously dismayed
By the Fighting 3rd Battalion of the Belfast Brigade.

Repeat chorus:

We have no ammunition or no armoured tanks to show
But we're ready to defend ourselves no matter where we go
We're out for our Republic and to hell with your free state
"No surrender" is the war cry of the Belfast Brigade.

Repeat chorus:

Come all ye gallant Irishmen and join the IRA
We'll strike a blow for freedom when there comes our certain day
You know our countries history and the sacrifice it made
Come join the 3rdBattalion of the Belfast Brigade.

Repeat chorus:

Return to the top of the page.

line

Bold Robert Emmett

Written by Tom Maguire,this song tells of the Irish patriot Robert Emmett,who after delivering his famous speech from the dock,was hanged, drawn and quartered by the English at St. Catherine's church in Thomas Street,Dublin.

  D                                G               F#m

The struggle is over, the boys are defeated,

       D                Bm               E7               A7

Old Ireland's surrounded with sadness and gloom,

 D               F#m          G               F#m

We were defeated and shamefully treated,

      D                            A7             D

And I, Robert Emmet, awaiting my doom.

Hung, drawn and quartered, sure that was my sentence,
But soon I will show them no coward am I.
My crime is the love of the land I was born in,
A hero I lived and a hero I'll die.

(Chorus)
Bold Robert Emmet, the darling of Ireland,
Bold Robert Emmet will die with a smile,
Farewell companions both loyal and daring,
I'll lay down my life for the Emerald Isle.

The barque lay at anchor awaiting to bring me
Over the billows to the land of the free;
But I must see my sweetheart for I know she will cheer me,
And with her I will sail far over the sea.
But I was arrested and cast into prison,
Tried as a traitor, a rebel, a spy;
But no man can call me a knave or a coward,
A hero I lived and a hero I'll die.

(Chorus repeat)

Hark! I the bell's tolling, I well know its meaning,
My poor heart tells me it is my death knell;
In come the clergy, the warder is leading,
I have no friends here to bid me farewell.
Goodbye, old Ireland, my parents and sweetheart,
Companions in arms to forget you must try;
I am proud of the honour, it was only my duty-
A hero I lived and a hero I'll die.

(Chorus repeat)

Return to the top of the page.

line

Boolavogue

This old Irish song written by P.J Mc Call relates to the Rebellion of 1798 and to one of Wexford's heroes Father Murphy, whom the British, true to form and merciful as ever, burned on the rack.

C                               F                                 C               Am             D7       F

At Boolavogue as the sun was setting o'er the bright May meadows of Shelmalier,

G7  C                      F                            C               Am                   G7       C

A rebel hand set the heather blazing and brought the neighbours from far and near.

                    Em                F                                 C       Am             D7        F

Then Father Murphy from Old Kilcormac spurred up the rock with a warning cry,

G7     C                              F                              C           Am               G7       C

'Arm, arm' he cried 'for i've come to lead you, for Ireland's freedom we'll fight or die'.
(Repeat above chords for subsequent verses)


He led us on 'gainst the coming soldiers and the cowardly yeomen we put to flight.
'Twas at the harrow the boys of Wexford showed Bookey's regiment how men could fight.
Look out for hirelings, King George of England, search every kingdom where breathes a slave,
For Father Murphy of the county Wexford sweeps o'er the land like a mighty wave.
We took Camolin and Enniscorthy and Wexford storming drove out our foes.
'Twas at Slieve Coilte our pikes were reeking with the crimson blood of the beaten Yeos.
At Tubberneery and Ballyellis full many a Hessian lay in his gore.
Ah! Father Murphy had aid come over and the Green Flag floated from shore to shore!
At Vinegar Hill o'er the pleasant Slaney our heroes vainly stood back to back,
And the Yeos of Tallow  took Father Murphy and burnt his body upon the rack.
God grant you glory brave Father Murphy, and open heaven to all your men
The cause that called you may call tomorrow in another fight for the green again.

Return to the top of the page.

line

Boys of the old brigade

This rabble rousing number, celebrating the 1916 Easter Rising.

      C                    F                   C                       G

Oh father why are you so sad on this bright Easter morn,

          C                  F                               C               G             C  

When Irish men are proud and glad of the land where they were born,

      G                                            C         F        G

Oh son, I see in memories' view of far off distant days,

          C               F                    C             G   C

When being just a boy like you,I joined the I.R.A.
(Repeat above chords for subsequent verses)

chorus:
            G                                                     C    F          G   

Where are the lads who stood with me when history was made,

      C                         F                      C               G        C               

Oh Gra Mo Criodh, I long to see, the boys of the old brigade.

From hills and farms the call to arms was heard by one and all,
And from the glen came brave young men to answer Ireland's call.
Was long ago we faced the foe the old brigade and me
And by my side they fought and died that Ireland might be free.

(repeat chorus)

And now my boy I've told you why on Easter morn I sigh,
For I recall my comrades all of dark old days gone by,
I think of men who fought in the glens with rifles and grenade.
May heaven keep the men who sleep, from the ranks of the old brigade.

(repeat chorus)

Return to the top of the page.

line

James Connolly

James Connolly, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, was wounded and taken prisoner. Unable to stand he was strapped to a chair and executed by the British on 12th May 1916.

C                           C7              F             C 

A great crowd had gathered outside of Kilmainham,

               F                    C              D7              G7

With their heads all uncovered, they knelt on the ground.

          C                  C7             F               C

For inside that grim prison, lay a brave Irish soldier,

      F              C           G7             C

His life for his country about to lay down.

(Repeat chords for subsequent verses)

He went to his death like a true son of Ireland,
The firing party he bravely did face.
Then the order rang out: 'Present arms, Fire!'
James Connolly fell into a ready made grave.

The black flag they hoisted, the cruel deed was over,
Gone was the man who loved Ireland so well.
There was many a sad heart in Dublin that morning,
When they murdered James Connolly, the Irish rebel.

Many years have gone by since the Irish rebellion,
When the guns of Brittania they loudly did speak.
And the bold I.R.A they stood shoulder to shoulder,
And the blood from their bodies flowed down Sackville Street.

The Four Courts of Dublin, the English bombarded,
The spirit of freedom, they tried hard to quell,
But above all the din, came the cry: 'No surrender!'
'Twas the voice of James Connolly, the Irish rebel.

Return to the top of the page.

line

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry,a student and Irish patriot,captured by the British after a gun battle during the Black and Tan war in 1919. He asked the British on the eve of his execution "shoot me like a soldier,dont hang me like a dog" the British duly obliged and hung him on November 1st 1920.

In Mountjoy jail one Monday morning,

                                    G7

High upon the gallow`s tree,

                                F        G

Kevin Barry gave his young life,

            G7               C

For the cause of liberty.

Just a lad of eighteen summers,

                                  G7

And yet no one and deny,

                                          F      G

As he walked to death that morning,

                  G7                     C

He proudly held his head up high.


Just before he faced the hangman,
in his dreary prison cell,
British soldiers tortured Barry,
Just because he would not tell,
The names of his brave comrades,
And other things they wished to know,
"Turn informer or we`ll kill you",
Kevin Barry answered "No".

Calmly standing to attention,
While he bade his last farewell,
To his broken-hearted mother,
who`s sad grief, no one can tell.
For the cause he proudly cherished,
This sad parting had to be,
Then to death walked softly smiling,
That old Ireland might be free.

Another martyr for old Ireland,
Another murder for the Crown,
Whose brutal laws may kill the Irish,
But can`t keep their spirit down.
Lads like Barry are no cowards,
From the foe they will not fly,
Lads like Barry will free Ireland,
For her sake they`ll live and die.

Return to the top of the page.

line

Only our rivers run free

This song, lamenting the fact that after 800 years of British oppression Ireland still remains unfree, was written by Michael Mc Connell in 1973. In 1973 the I.R.A was confident of a swift victory and a speedy declaration of withdrawal by the British from Ireland. It soon became clear however that this would not be the case and a new "long war" strategy was adopted by the I.R.A army council. That war lasted until the I.R.A ceasefire in 1994.


G                        D                     G

When apples still grow in November

          C                  G                        D

When blossoms still bloom from each tree,

          C                                     G

When leaves are still green in December,

     D                  Bm             Em

It's then that our land will be free.

   C                            G

I wander her hills and valleys,

        C                          D

And still through my sorrow i see

    C                                     G

A land that has never known freedom

        D          Bm         Em

And only her rivers run free.
(Repeat above chords for subsequent verses)

I drink to the death of her manhood,
Those men who would rather have died
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage,
To bring back their rights were denied.
Oh were are you now when we need you,
What burns where the flame used to be,
Are ye gone like the snows of last winter,
And will only our rivers run free.

How sweet is life but we're crying
How mellow the wine that were dry,
How fragrant the rose,but it's dying,
How gentle the wind but it sighs.
What good is in youth when it's aging,
What joy is in eyes that can't see,
When there's sorrow and sunshine and flowers,
And still only our rivers run free.

Return to the top of the page.

line

Patriot Game

This song,written by Dominic Behan, brother of the famous Irish writer Brendan,tells the story of Fergal O'Hanlon who was shot dead,at the age of 17, during an attack on an R.U.C station in the ill fated border campaign of 1956-1962.Sean South was fatally wounded during the same attack.

C                           F   C         G              C

Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,

            F                   C               Em       C                 

For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.

    F           C                 Em            C

It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,

                             F      Em    G        C  

And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just turned sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England's to blame,
So now I am part of the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half free.
Six counties lie under John Bull's tyranny.
But still De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the Patriot game.

They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair,
His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game.

It's nearly two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same
To play out my part in the patriot game.

And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained and sold
And I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those Quislings who sold out the patriot game.

Return to the top of the page.

line

Sean South of Garryowen

Sean South was shot dead,along with Fergal O'Hanlon, during a daring raid on an R.U.C base during the I.R.A's border campaign of 1956-1962.This campaign ,because of the lack of popular support, was quickly subdued by the then Unionist parliament at Stormont,and many I.R.A volunteers were interned without trial.

(spoken)
Sad are the homes 'round Garryowen
Since lost their giant pride.
And the banshee cry links every vale
Around the Shannon side
That city of the ancient walls
The broken treaty stone, undying fame
Surrounds your name - Sean South of Garryowen

(sung)

           G

'Twas on a dreary New Year's Eve

            C                             G

As the shades of night came down

                        C     G                           C  Am D7

A lorry load of volunteers approached a border town

                  G                        C            G

There were men from Dublin and from Cork

      C         Am     D7

Fermanagh and Tyrone

            G

But the leader was a Limerick man -

         C                       G

Sean South from Garryowen
(Repeat the above chords for aubsequent verses)

And as they moved along the street
Up to the barracks door
They scorned the danger they might meet
Their fate that lay in store
They were fighting for old Ireland's cause
To claim their very own
And the foremost of that gallant band
Was South of Garryowen

But the sergeant spoiled their daring plan
He spied them through the door
The Sten guns and the rifles
A hail of death did pour
And when that awful night was passed
Two men lay cold as stone
There was one from near the border
And one from Garryowen

No more he will hear the seagull's cry
O'er the murmuring Shannon tide
For he fell beneath a northern sky
Brave Hanlon by his side
They have gone to join that gallant band
Of Plunkett, Pearse, and Tone
Another martyr for old Ireland
Sean South from Garryowen

Return to the top of the page.

line

Foggy Dew

This song was written by Father P O'Neill paying tribute to the men and women who fought and died in the Easter rising of 1916 in Dublin.They gave up their young live trying to free Ireland from British oppression.

Am                                 g

'Twas down the glen one Easter morn

        C       Am

To a city fair rode I.

                                  G

When Ireland's line of marching men

     C             Am  

In squadrons passed me by.

      C                        G       C

No pipe did hum, no battle drum

                                 Am

Did sound its dread tattoo

                                           G

But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell

         C            Am

Rang out in the foggy dew.

Right proudly high over Dublin town
They hung out a flag of war.
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar.
And from the plains of Royal Meath
Strong men came hurrying through;
While Brittania's sons with their long-range guns
Sailed in from the foggy dew.

'Twas England bade our wild geese go
That small nations might be free.
Their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
On the fringe of the grey North Sea.
But had they died by Pearse's side
Or fought with Cathal Bruga,
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep
'Neath the hills of the foggy dew.

The bravest fell, and the solemn bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springing of the year.
And the world did gaze in deep amaze
At those fearless men and true
Who bore the fight that freedom's light
Might shine through the foggy dew.

Return to the top of the page.

line