Ireland Her Own

Words : Dick Gaughan / Music : Trad.

It wounds me in the heart although
I am a stranger born
To see my Irish cousins
In division, split and torn
The cause they should be fighting for
Too many still deny
Ireland her own, and all therein
Between the earth and sky

The ruling class of Ireland
Is neither Pape nor Prod
Hails neither Pope nor Paisley
For Power is their God
Their loyalty is neither to
Dail Eireann nor the Crown
Ireland to them's a piece of property
They claim to own

You Orangemen of Ireland,
Stand up and sing your song
But, to a stranger, one thing's clear -
Your heroes are all wrong.
Your praise is for a Dutchman,
You forget about your own
Like Henry Joy McCracken,
Robert Emmett and Wolfe Tone.

You're free to beat the Lambeg drum
So long as one thing's true -
It suits the ruling class to wear
The Orange and the Blue
But let that Orange Sash take on
The faintest shade of Red
Your name'll soon be on the list
Of Ireland's glorious dead

On both sides, yet, there's those who fear
To speak of '98
When Irishmen together fought
Regardless of their faith
Their deeds are praised in countless songs
But their purpose still denied
Ireland her own, and all therein
Between the earth and sky


Song Notes

(To the tune of a song my grandmother Bridget Madden used to sing, "The Glens of Aherlow", which is also the tune known as "Skibbereen".)

Dedicated to the memory of Tom Jackson who wrote the splendid "Ireland Her Own", a Marxist history of Ireland following on from Connolly's "Labour in Irish History". The song is based around Fintan Lalor's statement of the aim of the Fenians - "Ireland her own and all therein 'twixt sod and sky"

The reference to "'98" is to the United Irishmen's attempted revolution of 1798 in which Catholic and Presbyterian fought together.

See also Florence Wilson's wonderful poem in Ulster Scots about the '98 revolution, The Man From God-Knows Where

celtic knotwork


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