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Fenian Songs (1866)

The following are three of the ballads called " seditious songs," for the circulation of which, many arrests
have been made all over Ireland. The songs show a certain degree of talent in their composition, and are well
calculated to inflame the minds of a portion of the Irish population. The Fenian leaders have evidently
endeavoured to make capital out of the old saying, " Show me a people's ballads, and I will tell you what sort
of people they are":--

The Boys Of Ireland

Come Irishmen, assemble;
Let us agitate no more;
Came, let us free our native land,
Or welter in our gore.
Throw speeching to the winter winds,
Come, let us strike the blow,
And break these gaudy tyrant's laws,
That kept old Ireland low.

Chorus--For we're the boys of Ireland,
That never knew no fear;
To stand and fight, to bleed and die,
For the land that we love dear.

Paddies Evermore

The hour is past to fawn or crouch
As suppliants for our right,
Let word and deed unshrinking vouch
Their banded million's might.
Let those who scorned the fountain rill
Now dread the torrent's roar,
And hear our echoed chorus still,
We're Paddies evermore.
Look round, the Frenchman governs France
The Spaniard rules in Spain,
The noble Pole now takes his chance
To break the Russian chain.
The strife for freedom here begun,
We never will give o'er,
Nor own a land on earth but on,
We're Paddies evermore.

The Saxon Shilling

Hark! a martial sound is heard,
The march of soldiers fiing, drumming ;
Eyes are starting, hearts are stirr'd
For bold reeruits the brave are coming.

Ribbons flaunting, feathers gay,
The sounds and sights are surely thrilling;
Dazled village youths to day
Will crowd to take the Saxon shilling.

Ere you from the mountains go,
To feel the scourge of foreign fever,
Swear to serve the faithless foe
That lures you from your land for ever.

Swear henceforth its tools to be,
To slaughter trained by ceaseless drilling
Honor, home and liberty
Abandoned for a Saxon shilling.

Go, to fnd, mid crime and toil,
The doom to which such guilt is hurried;
Go, to leave on Indian soil
Your bones to bleach, aeccursed, unburied.

Go, to crush the free and brave,
Whose wrongs with wrath the world are filling.
Go, to slay each brother slave,
Or spurn the bloodstained Saxon shilling.


From the Victorian Newspaper the Kilmore Free Press and Counties of Bourke and Dalhousie Advertiser Thursday 5 July 1866 p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory