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The Song of the Caman (1909)

On Tailtean Plain, the Fenian men
In friendly conflict met,
From far they came, to play that game,
The pride of Erin yet !

And many a fierce and bloody field
Proved well their skill and brawn,
The hands that flung the battle spears
Were trained at the Caman.

Chorus :
Then wake ye Gaels, thro' Erin's vales;
From Foyle to Sliev-na-Mon ;
By glen and hill, let echoes thrill,
The song of the Caman.

At Benburb and the Yellow Ford
Our fathers faced the foe
Their blows of hate, with crashing weight,
The Saxon ranks brought low ;

For land and faith they courted death,
And still by field and bawn,
When strife was o'er, rang out once more,
The clash of the Caman.

Arise, each Gael from Emyvale
To banks of Suir and Bann,
Wake and uphold the game of old,
That fits an Irishman.

The peal of Erin's triumph shout,
When flames her freedom's dawn,
Shall mingle with its triumph-note,
The song of the Caman.


From the WA Newspaper the Westralian Record 24 Apr 1909 p. 4.

Bruce Cameron writes:
The game is the terrifyingly dangerous Irish sport of hurling! The 'caman' is the stick they use.
Like a hockey stick, it's curved at the end and can cause significant damage to whatever it hits.
In Scotland, the equivalent game is shinty. "Cam" means bent or crooked in Gaelic.
My surname, Cameron, means 'crooked nose'. Still, that's better than being a Campbell, meaning 'crooked mouth'.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory