It was early, early in the spring
The birds did whistle and sweetly sing,
Changing their notes from tree to tree
And the song they sang was Old Ireland free.
It was early early in the night,
The yeoman cavalry gave me a fright;
The yeoman cavalry was my downfall
And I was taken by Lord Cornwall.
‘Twas in the guard-house where I was laid,
And in a parlour where I was tried;
My sentence passed and my courage low
When to Dungannon I was forced to go.
As I was passing my father’s door
My brother William stood at the door;
My aged father stood at the door
And my tender mother her hair she tore.
As I was going up Wexford Street
My own first cousin I chanced to meet;
My own first cousin did me betray
And for one bare guinea swore my life away.
As I was walking up Wexford Hill
Who could blame me to cry my fill?
I looked behind, and I looked before
But my aged mother I shall see no more.
And as I mounted the platform high
My aged father was standing by;
My aged father did me deny
And the name he gave me was the Croppy Boy.
It was in Dungannon this young man died
And in Dungannon his body lies.
And you good people that do pass by
Oh shed a tear for the Croppy Boy.
There are two versions of this song, the first written by an unknown author and the most popular version, the second less well known and written by Carroll Malone