Category Archives: Ulster

Paddy at the Theatre

From the county of Monaghan lately I came,
I’m a tinker by trade, Laeey Dooly’s my name;
My cousin Tim Murphy, I met yesterday,
Says he, Mr. Dooly’ll come out to play?
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Is it the play that you mean? Are you sure that you’re right?
Tey’re treating the town to Pizzaro tonight:
But the treat as he called it, and the one that I mean,
Bad luck to his treat, it cost me all my tin.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Well, the green curtain drew up, and a lady I spied,
When a man came to kiss her, she scornfully cried:
Get out you big blackguard, I’ll bother your jig!
When in comes Pizzaro, with a grunt like a pig.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

In the days of ould Goury, a long time ago,
The Spaniards claimed war ‘gainst Peru, you know;
They damned its cash, its jewels and keys,
Whena boy they called Rowler says: No, if you please.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Then Rowler came in, like a day-star appeared,
He made a long speech and the sojers all cheered;
Says he, Beat well the Spaniards, and do the neat thing,
And then boys, stand up for your country and king.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Then Mr. Murphy Alonzo somehow went to jail,
He got out by a back door without giving bail!
While Rowler was jumping o’er bridges and greens,
He was shot by some blackguard behind the big screens.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Then Rowler came forward, and with him a child,
Looking all for the world like a man that was wild:
Here’s your gossoon, dear Cora, it’s my own blood that’s spilt
In defence of your child, blood an’ ounds, I’m kilt!
Derry down down down, Derry down.

The Alonzo and Pizzaro had a terrible fight,
Pizzaro got killed, that seemed perfectly right;
For the audience came down with a shower of applause,
They were all enlisted in the Peruvian’s cause.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Then Alonzo came forward and handsomely bowed,
Saying : Ladies and gentlemen, meaning the crowd,
By your kind permission, to-morrow, then,
We’ll murder Pizzaro over again.
Derry down down down, Derry down.

Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds

My name it is Hugh Reynolds, I come from honest parents,
Near Cavan I was born, as plainly you may see;
By loving of a maid, one Catherine MacCabe,
My life has been betrayed; she’s a dear maid to me.

The country were bewailing my doleful situation,
But still I’d expectation this maid would set me free;
But, O! she was ungrateful, her parents proved deceitful,
And though I loved her faithful, she’s a dear maid to me.

Young men and tender maidens, throughout this Irish nation,
Who hear my lamentation, I hope you’ll pray for me;
The truth I will unfold, that my precious blood she sold,
In the grave I must lie cold; she’s a dear maid to me.

For now’ my glass it is run, and the hour it is come,
And I must die for love and the height of loyalty:
I thought it was no harm to embrace her in my arms,
Or take her from her parents; but she’s a dear maid to me.

Adieu, my loving father, and you, my tender mother,
Farewell, my dearest brother, who has suffered sore for me;
With irons I’m surrounded, in grief I lie confounded,
By perjury unbounded! she’s a dear maid to me.

Now, I can say no more; to the gallows I must go,
There to take the last farewell of my friends and counterie;
May the angels, shining bright, receive my soul this night,
And convey me into heaven to the blessed Trinity.

Here’s a Health to Sweet Erin by D. Ryan

Here’s a health to sweet Erin!
When roaming afar,
She shines in her beauty,
My soul’s guiding star,
Oh, ’tis long since the green hills
Of Cavan I saw;
Erin! Savourneen,
Slan leat go bragh

Chorus
Here’s a health to sweet Erin!
When roaming afar,
She shines in her beauty,
My soul’s guiding star.

Here’s a health to old friendships,
And tiems full of joy,
To the home and the hearth,
Of my heart when a boy.
‘Mid the wreck of my hopes,
Nature still keeps her law;
Matair, Savourneen,
Slan leat go bragh!

Chorus

Oh the land of the Shamrock
And harp has a spell
For this lone heart of mine,
That no language can tell!
Oh, ’tis long since the green hills
Of Cavan I saw;
Erin! Savourneen,
Slan leat go bragh

Chorus

The Dungannon Convention, 1782

The church in Dungannon is full to the door,
And sabre and spur clash at times on the floor,
While helmet and shako are ranged all along,
Yet no book of devotion is seen in the throng,
In the front of the altar no minister stands,
But the crimson clad chief of those warrior bands:
And though solemn the looks and the voices around,
You’d listen in vain for a litany’s sound.
Say! What do they hear in the temple of prayer?
Oh! Why in the fold has the lion his lair?

Sad, wounded, and wan was the face of our isle,
By English oppression, and falsehood and guile;
Yet when to invade it a foreign fleet steered,
To guard it for England the North volunteered,
From the citizen soldiers the foe fled aghast –
Still they stood to their guns when the danger had past,
For the voice of America came o’er the wave,
Crying : Woe to the tyrant, and hope to the slave!
Indignation and shame through their regiments speed:
They have arms in their hands, and what more do they need?

O’er the green hills of Ulster their banners are spread,
The cities of Leinster resound to their tread,
The valleys of Munster with ardour are stirred,
And the plains of wild Connaught their bugles have heard;
A Protestant front-rank and Catholic rere –
For – forbidden the arms of freemen to bear –
Yet, foemen and friend are full sure, if need be,
The slave for his country will stand by the free.
By green flags supported, the Orange flags wave,
And the soldier half turns to unfetter the slave!

More honoured that Church of Dungannon is now
Than when at its altar communicants bow;
More welcome to heaven thananthem or prayer,
Are the rites and the thoughts of the warriors there;
In the name of all Ireland the Delegates swore:
“We’ve suffered too long, and we’ll suffer no more-
Unconquered by Force, we were vanquished by Fraud;
And now in God’s temple, we vow unto God,
That never again shall the Englishman bind
His chains on our limbs, or his laws on our mind.”

The church of Dungannon is empty once more –
No plumes on the altar, no cash on the floor,
But the councils of England are fluttered to see,
In the cause of their country, the Irish agree;
So they gave as a boon what they dare no withhold
And Ireland, a nation, leaps up as of old,
With a name and a trade, and a flag of her own,
And an army to fight for the people and throne.
But woe worth the day if to falsehood or fears
She surrenders the guns of her brave Volunteers!

Written by Thomas Osborne Davis.

The Star of Donegal

One evening fair to take the air, alone I chanced to stray,
Down by a lucid, silvery stream that ran along my way,
I spied two lovers talking, seated by an ancient ruined hall,
And the fair one’s name was Mary Orr, the Star of Donegal.

He pressed her hand, and then began, “my darling I must go
Unto the land of stars and stripes where peace and plenty flow,
But I want your faithful promise that you’ll wed none at all,
Until I do return to the Star of Donegal.”

She blushed and sighed and thus replied; “it grieves my heart full sore,
To think that you’re compelled to go and leave your native shore,
Here is my hand, you have my heart, I own the gift is small,
So stay at home and do not roam from matchless Donegal.”

The young man said: “my charming maid, at home I cannot stay,
To the Californian gold-fields I am bound to cross the sea,
To accumulate a fortune and to build a splendid hall,
To elevate to rank and state the Star of Donegal.”

She raised her lily white hand and said: “this castle in its day,
With all its plains and large domains from Lifford to the sea,
Belonged to my ancestors with many a splendid hall,
And if my father had his rights, he’s Lord of Donegal.”

The young man said: “my charming maid, the time is drawing near,
When the Irish will return home after their long career,
Our lovely land, by God’s command, the fairest of them all,
And heaven will see old Erin free, bright Star of Donegal.”

She raised her hand and thus she said: “God grant that I may see
Saint Patrick’s lovely Isle of Saints, great, glorious and free,
If that was so there’s none would go to New York or Montreal,
But cultivate and decorate the lands of Donegal.”

He clasped her in his arms, and, “My darling,” he did say,
“You know I love you dearly although I’m going away.
Let us get wed without fear or dread, that puts an end to all,
And then I’ll have my darling girl, the Star of Donegal.”

She gave consent and off they went to the house of Father Hugh,
Where he joined their hands in wedlock’s bands without any more to-do.
They sailed away from Derry Quay, and bade farewell to all,
And now they are in America, far, far from Donegal.

On the Bromielaw Quay

November’s wind tonight is raw
And whips the Clyde to foam;
I watch here on the Bromielaw
The harvester’s go home.

Oh! Luck is theirs, and blest are they
Who cross the sea of Moyle;
To see again the dawning grey
The waters of the Foyle.

To-morrow night on starlit ways
They’ll go to a loved door,
And sit with kin by hearths ablaze
In Rosses or Gweedore.

No welcome warm, no lighted pane,
Now waits for me in the West;
And sorrow keener than the rain
Lies heavy on my breast.

Yet longings often draw me where
The boats for Ireland start;
They take an unseen passenger –
My homeless Irish heart.

Like wild geese in their homing flight
These toilers homeward draw,
And leave me lonely in the night
Upon the Bromielaw.

Kitty of Coleraine

As beautiful Kitty one morning was tripping,
With a pitcher of milk for the fair at Coleraine,
When she saw me she stumbled, the pitcher down tumbled,
And all the sweet buttermilk watered the plain.
“Oh, what shall I do now! ‘Twas looking at you now,
I’m sure such a pitcher I’ll ne’er see again.
‘Twas the pride of my dairy – oh, Barney McCleary,
You’re sent as a plague to the girls at Coleraine.”

I sat down beside her, and gently did chide her
That such a misfortune should give her such pain;
‘Twas the haymaking season – I can’t tell leave her
she vowed for such pleasure she’d break it again.
‘Twas the haymaking season, I can’t tell the reason,
misfortunes will never come singly, ‘tis plain.
For very soon after poor Kitty’s disaster,
The devil a pitcher was whole in Coleraine.

The Enniskillen Dragoons (Version I) by Tommy Makem

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
And all around the borders of Erin’s green isle
And when the war is over we’ll return in full bloom
And we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

A beautiful damsel of fame and renown
A gentleman’s daughter from Monaghan town
As she drove by the barracks this beautiful maid
Stood up in her coach to see Dragoons on parade

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
And all around the borders of Erin’s green isle
And when the war is over we’ll return in full bloom
And we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

They were all dressed out like gentlemen’s sons
Their fine shining sabres and their carbine guns
Their silver mounted pistols, she observed them full soon
Because she loved an Enniskillen Dragoon

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
And all around the borders of Erin’s green isle
And when the war is over we’ll return in full bloom
And we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Flora dear Flora your pardon I crave
It’s now and forever that I’ll be your slave
Your parents have insulted both morn, night and noon
Because you would wed an Enniskillen Dragoon

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
And all around the borders of Erin’s green isle
And when the war is over we’ll return in full bloom
And we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Willie dearest Willie don’t heed what they say
For children their parents are bound to obey
But when the war is over they’ll all change their tune
And you’ll roll me in your arms by the light of the moon

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
And all around the borders of Erin’s green isle
And when the war is over we’ll return in full bloom
And we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Note: There are at least three versions of this song, the first listed below(Enniskillen Dragoons 1) is that which has been recorded, the second (Enniskillen Dragoons 2) is most likely the original from which the popular version has come and the third (Enniskillen Dragoons 3), a version written and recorded by Tommy Makem.

The Enniskillen Dragoons (Version II) by Tommy Makem

A beautiful damsel of fame and renown
A gentleman’s daughter of fame and renown –
As she rode by the barracks, this beautiful maid,
She stood in her coach to see the dragoons’ parade.

They were all dressed out like gentlemen’s sons,
With their bright shining swords and carbine guns,
With their silver-mounted pistols – she observed them full soon,
For to serve as a royal Enniskillen dragoon!

Your bright son of Mars, who stands on the right
Whose armour doth shine like the bright stars of night,
Saying: “Willie, dearest Willie, you’ve listed full soon.”
Saying: “The Lord be with you, Enniskillen dragoon.”

“Oh, Flora! Dearest Flora! Your pardon I crave,
it’s now and forever I must be a slave –
your parents they insulted me both morning and noon,
for fear that you’d wed an Enniskillen dragoon.”

“Oh, mind, dearest Willie! Oh, mind what you say,
for children are bound their parents to obey;
for when we’re leaving Ireland, they will all change their tune,
Saying :’The Lord be with you, Enniskillen dragoon.’”

Fare you well, Enniskillen! Fare you well for a while,
And all around the borders of Erin’s green isle,
And when the war is over we’ll return in full bloom,
And they’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen dragoon.

There are at least three versions of this song, the first listed below(Enniskillen Dragoons 1) is that which has been recorded, the second (Enniskillen Dragoons 2) is most likely the original from which the popular version has come and the third (Enniskillen Dragoons 3), a version written and recorded by Tommy Makem.

I’ll Tell Me Ma or Belle of Belfast City

I’ll Tell me ma when I go home,
The boys won’t leave the girls alone,
They pulled my hair and stole my comb,
But that’s all right ’till I go home.
She is handsome, she is pretty
She is the belle of Belfast city,
She is courting, one two three
Please won’t you tell me who is she?

Albert Mooney says he loves her,
All the boys are fighting for her,
Knock on the door and they ring the bell
Oh my true love, are you well?
Here she comes, as white as snow,
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
Old Johnny Mary she says she’ll die
If she doesn’t get the boy with the roving eye.
I’ll Tell me ma when I go home,
The boys won’t leave the girls alone,
They pulled my hair and stole my comb,
But that’s all right ’till I go home.
She is handsome, she is pretty
She is the belle of Belfast city,
She is courting, one two three
Please won’t you tell me who is she?

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
And the snow come tumbling from the sky
She’s as nice as apple pie
She’ll get her own boy, by and by
When she gets a lad of her own,
She won’t tell her ma ’till she comes home,
Let the boys stay as they will,
For it’s Albert Mooney she loves still.

I’ll Tell me ma when I go home,
The boys won’t leave the girls alone,
They pulled my hair and stole my comb,
But that’s all right ’till I go home.
She is handsome, she is pretty
She is the belle of Belfast city,
She is courting, one two three