(Air: Cailín Óg a Stór)

In the 1790s Irish Republicans began to crop their hair short in the new French fashion. Hence the name "Croppy".

"Good men and true in this house who dwell,
To a stranger buachaill I pray you tell,
Is the priest at home, or may he be seen?
I would speak a word with Father Green."

"The priest’s 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 a silent hall –
What a lonely sound has his light footfall!
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 murmurs 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 their place.

"I cursed three times 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 bear no hate against living thing,
But I love my country above the King.
Now, Father, bless me and let me go
To die if God has 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
Sat a Yeoman captain with fiery glare.

With fiery glare and with 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 the King,
And, Amen, say I, may all traitors swing!"

At Geneva Barracks that young man died,
And at Passage they had his body laid.
Good people, who live in peace and joy,
Breathe a prayer, shed a tear, for the Croppy Boy.

Carroll Malone

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John Kelly of Killanne, County Wexford was detailed by the Commander-in-Chief, Bagenal Harvey, to bring in all the available men from the Barony of Bantry for the attack planned on New Ross. He was seriously wounded in Michael Street, New Ross, following the successful attack on Three Bullet Gate. He was recovering in Wexford Town when it was recaptured by the British. A Yeoman sergeant who was a neighbour and whose life he had saved some days before, gave evidence against him. He was hanged on Wexford Bridge, his trunk conveyed to the waters and his head trailed and kicked along the streets before being spiked. Friends recovered the head and brought it to Killanne for burial and a monument was later erected on the spot.

The farmers of east Shelmalier were accustomed to shoot wild fowl on the North sloblands. Their "long barrelled guns" proved to be very effective weapons during the Rising.


What’s the news? What’s the news? O my bold Shelmalier,
With your long-barrelled gun of the sea?
Say what wind from the south blows his messenger here
With a hymn of the dawn for the free?
"Goodly news, goodly news, do I bring, Youth of Forth;
Goodly news shall you hear, Bargy man!
For the boys march at morn from the South to the North,
Led by Kelly, the Boy from Killanne!"

"Tell me who is that giant with gold curling hair –
He who rides at the head of your band?
Seven feet is his height, with some inches to spare,
And he looks like a king in command!" –
"Ah, my lads, that’s the pride of the bold Shelmaliers,
‘Mong our greatest of heroes, a Man! --
Fling your beavers aloft and give three ringing cheers
For John Kelly, the Boy from Killanne!"

Enniscorthy’s in flames, and old Wexford is won,
And the Barrow tomorrow we cross,
On a hill o’er the town we have planted a gun
That will batter the gateways of Ross!
All the Forth men and Bargy men march o’er the heath,
With brave Harvey to lead on the van;
But the foremost of all in the grim Gap of Death
Will be Kelly, the Boy from Killanne!"

But the gold sun of Freedom grew darkened at Ross,
And it set by the Slaney’s red waves;
And poor Wexford, stript naked, hung high on a cross,
And her heart pierced by traitors and slaves!
Glory O! Glory O! to her brave sons who died
For the cause of the long-down-trodden man!
Glory O! to Mount Leinster’s own darling and pride –
Dauntless Kelly, the Boy from Killanne!"

PJ McCall

Patrick Joseph McCall (1861-1919) was born in Patrick Street, Dublin. His summer holidays were spent in Rathangan, County Wexford, where he made the acquaintance of local musicians and ballad singers. He collected many old Irish airs, but is best remembered for his patriotic ballads.

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During the week following the liberation of Castlebar, even some of the French soldiers wrote verses. Here are two samples. The first is a somewhat humorous comment on the habit of their Commander of riding along the Irish ranks, raising his sword and shouting "Éirinn go brách". That was probaly the only Irish he knew, and since most of the insurgents spoke only Irish, they understood him well.

L’imcomparable Humbert si fécond en idées
De ce cri d’allégresse adopta le refrain.

En passant dans les rangs, on le voyait soudain
Chanter et répéter ces sublimes pensées:
Amis, Éirinn go brách! marchons à la victoire.
Amis, Éirinn go brách! va nous couvir de gloire.

Par Sous-lieutenant Fauré

Éirinn go brách! Fut le cri d’allégresse
Éirinn go brách! Fut le cri des combats
Éirinn go brách! Fut le cri tristesse
Éirinn go brách! Fut celui du trépas.

Par Sous-lieutenant Thibaut, officier payeur de l’armée.

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Rann do Pháistí, acumadh i 1798.

An raibh tú ‘g Cill Ala,
Nó i gCaisleán an Bharraigh,
Nó’n bhfaca tú ‘n campa
‘Bhí age na Francaigh?
Mise ‘gus tusa ‘gus ruball na muice
‘Gus bacaigh Shíol Aindí, bacaigh Shíol Aindí (1)

Do bhí mé ‘g Cill Ala
‘S i gCaisleán an Bharraigh
‘S do chonaic mé ‘n campa
‘Bhí age na Francaigh.
Mise ‘gus tusa 7rl.

An raibh tú ‘r a’ gCruach,
Nó ‘n bhfaca tú ‘n slua
Do bhí ar Chruach Phádraic
‘Bhí ar Cruach Phádraic?
Mise ‘gus tusa 7rl.

Do bhí mé ‘r a’ gCruach
‘S do chonaic mé ‘n slua
Do bhí ar Chruach Phádraic
‘Bhí ar Chruach Phádraic
Mise ‘gus tusa 7rl.

Ón mBéaloideas (1) Bhí reismintí Albanacha ag na Sasanaigh i Maigh Eo i 1798. Is cosúil go dtagann "bacaigh Shíol Aindí" ó "Bucky Heelander" an Bhéarla.

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This marching song of the French Army of the Revolution has since become the National Anthem of France.

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé;
Contre nous, de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé,
L’étendard sanglant est levé.
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes.

Aux armes, Citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons.

Amour sacré de la Patrie
Conduis, soutiens no bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combat avec tes défenseurs; (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux, que la Victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient notre triomphe et votre gloire.

Aux armes, Citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons.

Rouget de Lisle (1792)

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