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 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
THE BROAD BLACK BRIMMER (Noel Nagle)
There´s an [G] uniform that´s hanging in what´s
[C] known as father´s [G] room
THE DYING REBEL
The [G] night was dark, and the [Am] fight was [G] over,
FOUR GREEN FIELDS
[G] "What [D] did I [G] have?" said the [C] fine old [G] woman.
The Fenian Record Player
Wee [G] Willie John McFadden was a loyal Ulster Prod
MY LITTLE ARMALITE
I was [G] stopped by a soldier he called me a Fenian swine
ROLL OF HONOUR O'Glacain
THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY Brendan McEwen
[G] By a lonely prison [C] wall, I [G] heard a young girl [D]
The man from the Daily Mail
Oh [G] Ireland is a very funny place sir it`s a [C] strange old
troubled [G] land
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]
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:
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.