“Good men and true, in this house do dwell,
to a stranger bouchal I pray you tell,
Is the priest at home? Or may he be seen?
I would speak a word with Father Green.”
“The Priests at home, boy, and may be seen;
‘Tis easy speaking with Father Green;
But you must wait ’till I go and see
If the Holy Father alone may be.”
The youth has entered an empty hall –
What a lonely sound has his light foot-fall!
And the gloomy chamber’s chill and bare,
With a vested priest in a lonely chair.
The youth has knelt to tell his sins,
“Nomine Dei”, the youth begins
At “Mea Culpa” he beats his breast,
and in broken murmers he speaks the rest.
“At the siege of Ross did my father fall,
And at Gorey my loving brothers all;
I alone am left of my name and race,
I will go to wexford and take my place.
I cursed three times since last Easter day
At Mass time once I went to play;
I passed the churchyard one day in haste
And forgot to pray for my mother’s rest.”
“I hear no hate against living things
But I love my country above my king,
Now, Father! bless me and let me go
To die for God ordained it so.”
The priest said naught, but a rustling noise,
Made the youth look up in wild surprise:
The robes were off, and in scarlet there
Say a Yeoman captain with firey glare.
With firey glary and fury hoarse,
Instead of a blessing he breathed a curse
“‘Twas a good thought, boy, to come here and shrive,
For one short hour is your time to live”
“Upon yon river, three tenders float,
The priest’s in one – if he isn’t shot –
We hold this house for our Lord and King
And, Amen, say I may all traitors swing!”
At Geneva Barracks that young man died,
and at Passage there have his body laid.
Good people who live in peace and joy,
Breath a prayer, 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
Recorded by The Irish Brigade