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An Old Irish "Come-All-Ye" (1825)

Dear- Mr. Editor,-- As a constant reader of the "Freeman's Journal" and an admirer of the old and now
nearly forgotten songs sung by our fathers, many of which are off and on appearing in your valuable paper,
I send you the enclosed song composed by Darby Ryan, of Bansha, a peasant poet of County Tipperary, in
or about the year I825. At that time the insane practice of faction fighting was in vogue, called
"Three-year-old," and "Four-year-old" in Limerick and Tipperary. Ryan composed the rhyme to shame them
if possible, and was commended for it by the late Bishop Leahy, of Emley. My father (then going to school
in Bansha) got a copy, and I think it is the only one extant. Yours, truly, W. DOWNEY.

[The rhyme is inserted as a relic of antiquity rather than as a literary genius. -- Ed.]

Ye fickle sons of Paddy's Land
To these few lines attend,
Presented by a trusty friend
To ye I recommend--
Who'se not a factious party man,
A Three-year-old nor Four,
But a true and loyal member
Of the United Corps.

Illegal combinations shun,
Contentions, broils and strife
Unite in strong fraternal love
And lead a happy life.
How many of our countrymen
With unpropitious gales
Are sent in woful banishment
As slaves to New South Wales !

When Cromwell landed in our Isle
His forces were but few ;
'Twas by our chiefs he discord sowed,
And then did them undo.
By their disunion they became
To him an easy prey,
Which left them and their progeny
As slaves until this day.

Ye see the Indians in the woods :
They seldom disagree ;
They are cemented in the bonds
Of peace and harmony.
The Quaker and the Methodist
In mutual friendship join,
But Catholics, Christ's chosen band.
In murdering clans combine.

I wish ye all a happy year ;
May fortune on ye smile !
May Envy, Hate, and Malice
Be banished from your Isle !
May tyrants fall and freedom reign,
And foul oppression cease ;
And may we live for evermore
In Plenty, Joy, and Peace.


From the NSW Newspaper the Freeman's Journal 28 Dec 1901 p. 6.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory