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Rev P O'Neill

As down the glen, one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
There armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by,
No pipe did hum, no battle drum did sound its loud tattoo,
But the Angelus Bell o'er the Liffey swell rang out through the Foggy Dew.
Right proudly high over Dublin Town they flung out the flag of war
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud El Bar;
And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
While Britannia's Huns, with their great big guns, sailed in through the Foggy Dew.
O' the night fell back, and the rifle's crack made 'Perfidious Albion' reel
'Mid the leaden rain seven tongues of flame did shine o'er the lines of steel;
By each shing blade a prayer was said that to Ireland her sons be true
And when morning broke still the war flag shook out its folds in the Foggy Dew.
'Twas England bade our Wild Geese go that small nations might be free,
But their lonely graves are by Sulva's waves or the fringe of the great North Sea.
O, had they died by Pearse's side, or had fought with Cathal Brugha,
Their names we'd keep where the Fenians sleep, 'neath the shroud of the Foggy Dew.
For the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully  and clear,
For those who died that Eastertide in the springtime of the year;
While the world did gaze, with deep amaze, at those fearles men, but few
Who bore the fight that Freedom's light might shine through the Foggy Dew.
Ah! back through the glen I rode again, and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I shall never see more;
But to and fro in my dreams I go, and I kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, o glorious dead! when you fell in the Foggy Dew.
Footnote: This week sees the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland which commenced on 24th April. The Wild Geese mentioned in the song refers to the emigration of the Irish armed forces after the surrender of Limerick in 1691. A recording of this song by the great Scottish folk singer, Hamish Imlach, was once banned by the BBC - they thought that he was Irish!


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