Songs & Lyrics

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Bobby Sands center with guitar

Back Home In Derry
The Rhythm of Time

McIlhatton
Song For Marcella
Forever In My Mind
Ninety Miles From Dublin
No time for Love
On The Blanket
Take Me Home To Mayo
The Armagh Women
The Boy From Tamlaghtduff

The People’s Own MP
The Time Has Come
The H-Block Song
The Ballad of Joe McDonnell
Bobby Sands MP
A Sad Song for Susie
The Ballad of Mairead Farrell
The Ballad of Bobby Sands
The Roll of Honour

The Men Behind The Wire
Only Our Rivers Run Free
Our Lads In Crumlin Jail
James Connolly
Kevin Barry
Four Green Fields
The Auld Triangle
Bobby
Bobby Sands

Bobby In The Wire

International Songs of Struggle

Free Nelson Madela
Mandela Day
Biko
Joe Hill
I’ve Got To Know
La zamba del Ché
Victor Jara
De mi pueblo para la guerrilla

Back Home In Derry

– by Christy Moore, words by Bobby Sands

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In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn’t all drown

And the marks of our fetters we carried.

In the rusty iron chains we sighed for our wains
As our good wives we left in sorrow.
As the mainsails unfurled our curses we hurled
On the English and thoughts of tomorrow.

Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.

I cursed them to hell as our bow fought the swell.
Our ship danced like a moth in the firelights.

White horses rode high as the devil passed by
Taking souls to Hades by twilight.

Five weeks out to sea we were now forty-three
Our comrades we buried each morning.
In our own slime we were lost in a time.
Endless night without dawning.

Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.

Van Dieman’s land is a hell for a man

To live out his life in slavery.
When the climate is raw and the gun makes the law.
Neither wind nor rain cares for bravery.

Twenty years have gone by and I’ve ended me bond
And comrades’ ghosts are behind me.
A rebel I came and I’ll die the same.
On the cold winds of night you will find me

Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry.

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The Rhythm of Time

– by Damien Dempsey, words by Bobby Sands

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There’s an inner thing in every man,
Do you know this thing my friend?

It has withstood the blows of a million years,
And will do so to the end.

It was born when time did not exist,
And it grew up out of life,
It cut down evil’s strangling vines,
Like a slashing searing knife.

It lit fires when fires were not,
And burnt the mind of man,
Tempering leadened hearts to steel,

From the time that time began.

It wept by the waters of Babylon,
And when all men were a loss,
It screeched in writhing agony,
And it hung bleeding from the Cross.

It died in Rome by lion and sword,
And in defiant cruel array,
When the deathly word was ‘Spartacus’
Along the Appian Way.

It marched with Wat the Tyler’s poor,
And frightened lord and king,
And it was emblazoned in their deathly stare,
As e’er a living thing.

It smiled in holy innocence,
Before conquistadors of old,
So meek and tame and unaware,
Of the deathly power of gold.

It burst forth through pitiful Paris streets,

And stormed the old Bastille,
And marched upon the serpent’s head,
And crushed it ‘neath its heel.

It died in blood on Buffalo Plains,
And starved by moons of rain,
Its heart was buried in Wounded Knee,
But it will come to rise again.

It screamed aloud by Kerry lakes,
As it was knelt upon the ground,

And it died in great defiance,
As they coldly shot it down.

It is found in every light of hope,
It knows no bounds nor space
It has risen in red and black and white,
It is there in every race.

It lies in the hearts of heroes dead,
It screams in tyrants’ eyes,
It has reached the peak of mountains high,

It comes searing ‘cross the skies.

It lights the dark of this prison cell,
It thunders forth its might,
It is ‘the undauntable thought’, my friend,
That thought that says ‘I’m right!’

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McIlhatton

– by Christy Moore, words by Bobby Sands, music by Bik McFarlane

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In Glenravel’s Glen there lives a man whom some would call a god
For he could cure your shakes with a bottle of his stuff would cost you thirty bob

Come winter, summer, frost all over, a jiggin’ Spring on the breeze
In the dead of night a man steps by, “McIlhatton, if you please”

McIlhatton, you blurt, we need you, cry a million shaking men
Where are your sacks of barley, will your likes be seen again?

Here’s a jig to the man and a reel to the drop and a swing to the girl he loves
May your fiddle play and poitín cure your company up above

There’s a wisp of smoke to the south of the Glen and the poitín is on the air
The birds in the burrows and the rabbits in the sky and there’s drunkards everywhere
At Skerries Rock the fox is out and begod he’s chasing the hounds
And the only thing in decent shape is buried beneath the ground

McIlhatton, you blurt, we need you, cry a million shaking men
Where are your sacks of barley, will your likes be seen again?
Here’s a jig to the man and a reel to the drop and a swing to the girl he loves

May your fiddle play and poitín cure your company up above

At McIlhatton’s house the fairies are out and dancing on the hobs
The goat’s collapsed and the dog has run away and there’s salmon down the bogs
He has a million gallons of wash and the peelers are on the Glen
But they’ll never catch that hackler cos he’s not comin’ home again

McIlhatton you blurt we need you, cry a million shaking men
Where are your sacks of barley, will your likes be seen again?
Here’s a jig to the man and a reel to the drop and a swing to the girl he loves
May your fiddle play and poitín cure your company up above

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Song For Marcella

– by Brendan “Bik” McFarlane music by John Gorka

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Doesn’t seem quite so long ago,
The last time that I saw you,
Ain’t it funny how the memories grow,
They always fold around you,
They tried to break you in a living hell,
But they couldn’t find a way,
So they killed you in a H-Block cell,
And hoped that all would turn away,
Thought that your spirit couldn’t rise again

But it dared to prove them wrong,
And in death you tore away the chains,
And let the world hear Freedom’s Song

Yet the heartache and pain linger on,
They’re still here though its so long since you have gone,
But we’re stronger now you showed us how,
How freedom fight can be won

I wish there was an easy road to chose,
To bring the heartache to an end,

But easy roads are always sure to lose,
I’ve seen that time and time again,
If you can stand by me like yesterday,
I’ll find the strength to carry on,
So let your spirit shine along the way,
And our day will surely come

Yet the heartache and pain linger on,
They’re still here though its so long since you have gone,
But we’re stronger now you showed us how,

How freedom fight can be won, if we all stand as one

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Forever In My Mind

– by Christy Moore

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O’Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands,

Doherty and Lynch
McDonnell, Hurson, McIlwee, Devine

Darkened years of winter have passed
Summer waits for spring before it lives
Blanket clad and wasted the winter has been long
No gleam of hope a thoughtless nation gives
In silence we walked through the streets
As one by one our hunger strikers died.

O’Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands,

Doherty and Lynch
McDonnell, Hurson, McIlwee, Devine

Their memory is forever in my mind
Pictures of their faces in my eyes
My sorrow and grief will not subside
And my love for them I will not disguise
In silence we walked through the streets
As one by one our hunger strikers died.

O’Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands,

Doherty and Lynch
McDonnell, Hurson, McIlwee, Devine

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Ninety Miles From Dublin

– by Christy Moore

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I’m ninety miles from Dublin town

I’m in an H-Block cell
To help you understand me plight

This story now I’ll tell
I’m on the blanket protest
My efforts must not fail
For I’m joined by men and women

In the Kesh and Armagh jail
It all began one morning
I was dragged to Castlereagh
And though it was three years ago
It seems like yesterday
For three days kicked and beaten
I then was forced to sign
Confessions that convicted me
Of deeds that were not mine

Sentenced in a Diplock Court
My protest it began
I could not wear this prison gear
I was a blanket man
I’ll not accept their status
I’ll not be criminalised
That’s the issue in the blocks

For which we give our lives

Over there in London town
Oh how they’d laugh and sneer
If they could only make us wear
Their loathsome prison gear
Prisoners of war that’s what we are
And that we must remain
The blanket protest cannot end

Till status we regain
I’ve been beaten round the romper room
Because I won’t say ‘Sir’
I’ve been frogmarched down the landing
And dragged back by the hair
I’ve suffered degradation

Humility and pain
Still the spirit does not falter
British torture is in vain

I’ve been held in scalding water
While me back with deck scrubs was tore
I’ve been scratched and cut from head to foot
Then thrown out on the floor
I’ve suffered mirror searches

Been probed by drunken bears
I’ve heard me comrades cry and scream
Then utter useless prayers
Now with the news that’s coming in
Our protest must not fail
For now we’re joined by thirty girls
In Armagh’s women’s jail

So pay attention Irishmen
And Irish women too
And show the Free State rulers that
Their silence will not do
Though it’s ninety miles from Dublin town
It seems so far away
There’s more attention to our plight
In the USA

Now you’ve heard the story
Of this filthy living hell
Remember ninety miles away
I’m still in an H-Block cell

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No time for Love

– Performed by Christy Moore & Declan Sinnott, written by Jack Warshaw

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You call it the law, we call it apartheid, internment, conscription, partition and silence.
It’s the law that they make to keep you and me where they think we belong.
The hide behind steel and bullet-proof glass, machine guns and spies,
And tell us who suffer the tear gas and the torture that we’re in the wrong.

No time for love if they come in the morning,
No time to show tears or for fears in the morning,

No time for goodbye, no time to ask why,
And the sound of the siren’s the cry of the morning.
They suffered the torture they rotted in cells, went crazy, wrote letters and died.
The limits of pain they endured – the loneliness got them instead.
And the courts gave them justice as justice is given by well-mannered thugs.
Sometimes they fought for the will to survive but more times they just wished they were dead.

They took away Sacco, Vanzetti, Connolly and Pearce in their time.
They came for Newton and Seal, Bobby Sands and some of his friends.

In Boston, Chicago, Saigon, Santiago, Warsaw and Belfast,
And places that never make headlines, the list never ends.

No time for love if they come in the morning,
No time to show tears or for fears in the morning,
No time for goodbye, no time to ask why,
And the sound of the siren’s the cry of the morning.

The boys in blue are only a few of the everyday cops on the beat,
The C.I.D., Branchmen, informers and spies do their jobs just as well;

Behind them the men who tap phones, take photos, program computers and files,
And the man who tells them when to come and take you to your cell.

No time for love if they come in the morning,
No time to show tears or for fears in the morning,
No time for goodbye, no time to ask why,
And the sound of the siren’s the cry of the morning.

All of you people who give to your sisters and brothers the will to fight on,
They say you can get used to a war, that doesn’t mean that the war isn’t on.

The fish need the sea to survive, just like your people need you.
And the death squad can only get through to them if first they can get through to you.

No time for love if they come in the morning,
No time to show tears or for fears in the morning,
No time for goodbye, no time to ask why,
And the sound of the siren’s the cry of the morning.

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On The Blanket

– by Christy Moore [song by Mick Hanly]

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The truth comes hard as the cold rain
On your face in the heat of the storm
And the stories I’m hearing would shock you

To believe that such deeds can go on

You can starve men and take all their clothing
You can beat them up till they fall
You can break up the bodies but never the spirit
Of those on the blanket

The truth must be told so I’ll tell it
It all began five years ago
Ciaran Nugent refused to be branded

A criminal and to wear prison clothes

They threw him out naked to H-Block
And spat out filthy abuse
And they left him awake till the cold light of day
With only a blanket

England, your sins are not over
The H-Block still stands in your name
And though many voices have cried out to you
It’s still your shame

If we stay silent we’re guilty
While these men lie naked and cold
In H-Block tonight remember the fight
Of those on the blanket

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Take Me Home To Mayo

– by Christy Moore [Song by Seamus Robinson]

Take me home to Mayo, across the Irish Sea;
Home to dear old Mayo, where once I roamed so free.
Take me home to Mayo, there let my body lie;
Home at last in Mayo, beneath an Irish sky.

My name is Michael Gaughan, from Ballina I came;
I saw my people suffering and swore to break their chain –
I raised the flag in England, prepared to fight or die –
Far away from Mayo, beneath an Irish sky.

Take me home to Mayo, across the Irish Sea;

Home to dear old Mayo, where once I roamed so free.
Take me home to Mayo, there let my body lie;
Home at last in Mayo, beneath an Irish sky.

My body cold and hungry, in Parkhurst Gaol I lie;
For loving of my country, on hunger strike I die –
I have just one last longing, I pray you’ll not deny –
Bury me in Mayo, beneath an Irish sky.

Take me home to Mayo, across the Irish Sea;
Home to dear old Mayo, where once I roamed so free.

Take me home to Mayo, there let my body lie;
Home at last in Mayo, beneath an Irish sky.

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The Armagh Women

– by Christy Moore

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In Black Armagh of the Goddess Macha
Last February in the grey cold jail
The Governor Scott in his savage fury
Came down to break the women’s will
Forty jailers my forty jailers
From the hell of Long Kesh came down
And help me break these warrior women
The forty jailers put on their armour
Strapped on their helmets took up their shields

Then they beat the Armagh women they beat them down
They were sure they’d yield
Three days he kept them locked up in darkness
Locked up in filth you would not believe
When he released them he was so conceited
That one and all he thought they would yield
If you have suffered he smilingly said
It never happened it was all just a dream
Come out come out and obey my orders

But the Armagh women they would never yield
They’d never yield to Scott the governor
They’d never yield till they broke him down
He and his jailers were all locked in prison
By the women of Armagh jail
And there they remain those warrior women
Locked up in filth you would not believe
They hold Scott and his warders powerless
They hold them there, they’ll never concede

Women of Ireland stand up and declare
Women of Ireland understand your power
Make us see that together we’ll do it
We’ll tumble down their stone grey tower
In Black Armagh of the Goddess Macha
Last February in a cold grey cell

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The Boy From Tamlaghtduff

– by Christy Moore

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As I walked through the Glenshane Pass I heard a young girl mourn
”The boy form Tamlaghtduff,” she cried, “is two years dead and gone”
How my heart is torn apart this young man to lose
Oh I’ll never see the likes again of my young Francis Hughes

For many years his exploits were a thorn in England’s side
The hills and glens became his home there he used to hide
Once when they surrounded him he quietly slipped away
Like a fox he went to ground and kept the dogs at bay
Moving round the countryside he often made the news
But they could never lay their hands on my brave Francis Hughes
Finally they wounded him and captured him at last
From the countryside he loved they took him to Belfast
Oh from Musgrave Park to the Crumlin Road and then to an H-Block cell

He went straight on the blanket then on hunger strike as well
His will to win they could never break no matter what they tried
He fought them every day he lived and he fought them as he died
As I walked through the Glenshane Pass I heard a young girl mourn
”The boy form Tamlaghtduff.” she cried, “is two years dead and gone”
How my heart is torn apart this young man to lose
Oh I’ll never see the likes again of my young Francis Hughes

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The People’s Own MP

– by Christy Moore

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How many more must die now, how many must we lose
Before the island people their own destiny can choose?
From immortal Robert Emmet to Bobby Sands M.P
Who was given 30,000 votes while in captivity

No more he’ll hear the larks sweet notes upon the Ulster air
Or gaze upon the snowflake pure to calm his deep despair
Before he went on hunger strike young Bobby did compose
The Rhythm of Time the Weeping Winds and the Sleeping Rose

He was a poet and a soldier, he died courageously
And we gave him 30,000 votes while in captivity.

Thomas Ashe gave everything in 1917
The lord mayor of Cork Mac Sweeney died his freedom to obtain

But never one of all our dead died more courageously

Than young Bobby Sands from Twinbrook, the people’s own M.P

Forever we’ll remember him that man who died in pain
That his country North and South might be united once again
To mourn him is to organise and built a movement strong
With ballot box and armalite, with music and with song

He was a poet and a soldier, he died courageously
And we gave him 30,000 votes while in captivity.

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The Time Has Come

– by Christy Moore

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The time has come to part, my love,
I must go away
I leave you now, my darling girl,

No longer can I stay.

My heart like yours is breaking
Together we’ll prove strong
The road I take will show the world
The suffering that goes on.

The gentle clasp that holds my hand
Must loosen and let go
Please help me through the door
Though instinct tells you no.

Our vow it is eternal
And will bring you dreadful pain
But if our demands aren’t recognised
Don’t call me back again.

How their sorrow touched us all
In those final days
When it was the time she held the door
And touched his sallow face.

The flame he lit by leaving

Is still burning strong
By the lights it’s plain to see
The suffering still goes on.

The time has come to part, my love
I must go away
I leave you now, my darling girl,
No longer can I stay.

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The H-Block Song

– by Francie Brolly, Dungiven, 1976

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I
I am a proud young Irishman.
In Ulster’s hills my life began;

A happy boy through green fields ran;
I kept God’s and Man’s laws.
But when my age was barely ten
My country’s wrongs were told again.
By tens of thousands marching men
And my heart stirred to the cause.
Chorus:

So I’ll wear no convict’s uniform
Nor meekly serve my time
That Britain might brand lreland ‘s fight
Eight hundred years of crime.

II
I learned of centuries of strife,
Of cruel laws, injustice rife;

I saw now in my own young life
The fruits of foreign sway:
Protestors threatened, tortured, maimed,
Divisions nurtured, passions flamed,
Outrage provoked, right’s cause defamed;
That is the conqueror’s way.
Chorus
III

Descended from proud Connacht clan,
Concannon served cruel Britain’ s plan;
Man’ s inhumanity to man
Had spawned a trusty slave.
No strangers are these bolts and locks,
No new design these dark H-Blocks,
Black Cromwell lives while Mason stalks;

The bully taunts the brave.
Chorus
IV
Does Britain need a thousand years
Of protest, riot, death and tears,
Or will this past decade of fears
Of eighty decades spell
an end to Ireland’ s agony,

New hope for human dignity;
And will the last obscenity
Be this grim H-Block cell?
Chorus

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The Ballad of Joe McDonnell

– by Brian Warfield

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Oh me name is Joe McDonnell
From Belfast town I came
That city I will never see again
For in the town of Belfast I spent many happy days
I love that town in oh so many ways
For it’s there I spent my childhood and found for me a wife
I then set out to make for her a life
But all my young ambitions met with bitterness and hate

I soon found myself inside a prison gate

And you dare to call me a terrorist
While you look down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you have done
You have plundered many nations, divided many lands
You have terrorized their peoples, you rule with an iron hand
And you brought this reign of terror to my land

Through those many months internment
In the Maidstone and the Maze

I thought about my land throughout those days
Why my country was divided, why I was now in jail
Imprisoned without crime or without trial
And though I love my country I am not a bitter man
I’ve seen cruelty and injustice at first hand
So then one fateful morning I shook bold freedom’s hand
For right or wrong I’d try to free my land

And you dare to call me a terrorist
While you look down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you have done
You have plundered many nations, divided many lands
You have terrorized their peoples, you rule with an iron hand
And you brought this reign of terror to my land

Then one cold October morning
Trapped in a lion’s den

I found myself imprisoned once again
I was committed to the H blocks for fourteen years or more
On the blanket the conditions they were poor
Then a hunger strike we did commence for the dignity of men
But it seemed to me that noone gave a damn
But now I am a saddened man I’ve watched my comrades die
If only people cared or wondered why

And you dare to call me a terrorist

While you look down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you have done
You have plundered many nations, divided many lands
You have terrorized their peoples, you rule with an iron hand
And you brought this reign of terror to my land

May God shine on you Bobby Sands
For the courage you have shown
May your glory and your fame be widely known
And Francis Hughes and Ray McCreesh who died unselfishly

And Patsy O’Hara and the next in line is me
And those who lie behind me may your courage be the same
And I pray to God my life is not in vain
Ah but sad and bitter was the year of 1981
For everything I’ve lost and nothing won

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Bobby Sands MP

YouTube Preview Image – written by Larry Kirwan and performed by Black 47

My name is Bobby Sands, MP
Born in the city of Belfast
Divided by religion
I grew up fast

I was stabbed and I was spat upon

My family run out of its home
There was only one solution
Turn the whole system upside down

But the system had other ideas
I got lifted for carryin’ a gun
In a trial without a jury
I got fourteen years from the judge

Screws beat me regularly

But they couldn’t break me because
I had the love of my comrades
And a burnin’ faith in my Cause

Still I left a girl outside pregnant
Married her while on remand
Now I got a son and a pain in my heart
When he doesn’t recognize his old man

Your soul’s on ice oh oh oh oh
But they can’t stop the desire
To break on out oh oh oh oh
When your heart is on fire

We wouldn’t wear their convict clothes
So they stripped us to the bone
Threw in some threadbare blankets…..

And when they jeered us about our nakedness
As we slopped out down the halls
We wouldn’t come out of their prison cells
We smeared shit on their prison walls

Stuck in an eight foot concrete box
With a bible, a mattress
And the threat of violence every day….

Can I make it through these fourteen years

Will my son remember my face
I don’t blame her for the separation
But for Christ’s sake let him keep his name

Your soul’s on ice oh oh oh oh
But they can’t stop the desire
To break on out oh oh oh oh
When your heart is on fire

Five simple things we ask of them
Five simple things denied
But Thatcher will not compromise….

I ask my Mother’s permission
To finally break her heart
We have come to a decision
……Hunger Strike

Three comrades starve behind me

I pray to God that my
Death will lead to compromise….

I can no longer see your face
My bones break through my skin
I’m goin’ back to Belfast City
You can’t cage my spirit in

Your soul’s on ice
But they can’t stop the desire
To break on out
When your heart is on fire

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A Sad Song for Susie

’ written by Bobby Sands, sang by Brendan McFarlane

YouTube Preview Image

I’m sitting at the window, I’m looking down the street
I am watching for your face, I’m listening for your feet.
Outside the wind is blowing and it’s just begun to rain,
And it’s being here without you that’s causing me such pain.

My mind’s wandering back again, to when you were here
And I wish I had you now, I wish that you were near.
I remember the winter nights when you warned me from the cold
And in the spring when we walked through green fields and skies of gold.

You’re gone, you’re gone, but you’ll live on in my memory.

In summer we played with the kids and you brought us young Jane,
But now – now it’s lonely and cold and it’s winter once again.

It’s dark now, I see, the stars are out way up in the sky,
And oh! how they remind me of the sparkle in your eye.

I’m lonely, yes, I’m lonelier than the cold wind that blows,
Are you happy, are you all right? I suppose God only knows.
And darling all the people are going to bed and the kids are crying for you
– How can I tell them you’re dead?

You’re gone, you’re gone but you’ll live on in my memory,

You’re gone, you’re gone but you’ll live on in my memory.

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The Ballad of Mairead Farrell

’ by Seanchai & The Unity Squad

YouTube Preview Image

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there I do not sleep
Do not stand at my grave and cry
When Ireland lives i do not die

A womans place is no at home
The fight for fredom it still goes on
I took up my gun until freedoms day
I pledged to fight for the I.R.A.

In Armagh jail I served my time

Strip searches were a British crime
Degraded me but they could not see
I suffered this to see Ireland free

BREAK

Gibralta Rock’s the place I died
McCann and Savage were by my side
I heard the order loud and shrill
Of Thatchers voice, said SHOOT TO KILL

So do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
Do not stand at my grave and cry
When reland lives I do not die
When Ireland lives I do not die

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The Ballad of Bobby Sands

’ written and sang by Gerry O’Glacain

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Oh Irishmen remember well
Our heroes who in action fell
And those who died in the prison cell

Like Bobby Sands from Belfast

An Irish soldier to the last
A criminal he would not be classed
And so began a long day fast
Of Bobby Sands from Belfast

So proud Britannia hide your face
Throughout the world you are disgraced
How many more must take the place
Of Bobby Sands from Belfast

The gallant Hughes from Derry’s hills
He fought against the tyrants will
O’Hara and McCreesh you’ve killed
Like Bobby Sands from Belfast

And the world will never understand
Why you denied their just demands
A lingering death with your heartless plan

for those like Sands from Belfast

Now Britannia, all the world must know
how England treats a helpless foe
Your British justice, it is laid low
Like Bobby Sands from Belfast

So proud Britannia hide your face
Throughout the world you are disgraced
How many more must take the place
Of Bobby Sands from Belfast

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The Roll of Honour

’ written by Gerry O’Glacain, sang by Eire Og

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Read the roll of honour for Ireland’s bravest men
We must be united in memory of the ten,

England you’re a monster, don’t think that you have won
We will never be defeated while Ireland has such sons.

In those dreary H-Block cages ten brave young Irishmen lay
Hungering for justice as their young lives ebbed away,
For their rights as Irish soldiers and to free their native land
They stood beside their leader – the gallant Bobby Sands.
Now they mourn Hughes in Bellaghy,
Ray McCreesh in Armagh’s hills

In those narrow streets of Derry they miss O’Hara still,
They so proudly gave their young lives to break Britannia’s hold
Their names will be remembered as history unfolds.

Through the war torn streets of Ulster the black flags did sadly sway
To salute ten Irish martyrs the bravest of the brave,
Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty
They gave their lives for freedom with Thomas McElwee.
Michael Devine from Derry you were the last to die

With your nine brave companions with the martyred dead you lie
Your souls cry out “Remember, our deaths were not in vain.
Fight on and make our homeland a nation once again !”

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The Men Behind The Wire

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Written by Paddy McGuigan, Performed by The Barleycorn

[Chorus]
Armoured cars and tanks and guns
Came to take away our sons
But every man must stand behind
The men behind the wire

Through the little streets of Belfast
In the dark of early morn
British soldiers came marauding

Wrecking little homes with scorn

Heedless of the crying children
Dragging fathers from their beds
Beating sons while helpless mothers
Watched the blood poor from their heads

[Chorus]

Not for them a judge and jury
Nor indeed a crime at all
But being Irish means they’re guilty

So we’re guilty one and all

Round the world the truth will echo
Cromwell’s men are here again
England’s name again is sullied
In the eyes of honest men.

[Chorus]

Proudly march behind our banners
Firmly stand behind our men
We will have them free to help us

Build a nation once again

All the people step together
Proudly, firmly, on your way
Never fear and never falter
Till the boys come home to stay

[Chorus]

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Only Our Rivers Run Free

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– – performed by Kathleen Largey, Lyrics by Michael McConnell

When apples still grow in November
When blossoms still bloom from each tree,
When leaves are still green in December,
It’s then that our land will be free.
I wander her hills and her valleys,

And still through my sorrow I see
A land that has never known freedom
And only her rivers run free.

I drink to the death of her manhood,
Those men who would rather have died
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage,
To bring back their rights were denied.
Oh were are you now when we need you,
What burns where the flame used to be,

Are ye gone like the snows of last winter,
And will only our rivers run free.

How sweet is life but we’re crying
How mellow the wine that were dry,
How fragrant the rose, but it’s dying,
How gentle the wind but it sighs.
What good is in youth when it’s aging,
What joy is in eyes that can’t see,
When there’s sorrow and sunshine and flowers,

And still only our rivers run free.

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Our lads in Crumlin Jail

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– Performed by Kathleen Largey

In Ireland’s fight for freedom, boys,

The North has played its part,
Though the day has still to come,
We’ve never yet lost heart,
For we’ll fight it out until the end
We’ll fight for we cannot fail.
We know we’ll win although they have
Our lads in Crumlin Jail.

We give to Erin Owen Roe,
We give her Shane O’Neill,

Tone and Cavehill made a vow,
That England still can feel,
Joe McKelvey did not die in vain,
He too was a Northern Gael.
And that’s another reason why
They keep our lads in Crumlin Jail.

Bravely too great Ardoyne men
The Markets and the Falls
From Ballymurphy and Short Strand

They’re inside those grey walls.
No fear have they for …..
………………………….
And that’s another reason why
They keep our lads in Crumlin Jail.

Keep on the fight you Volunteers
For God is on our side
Jail can’t break a spirit …
They’d just as soon have died.

For England knows and England hates
The fearless Northern Gaels
And that’s another reason why
They keep our lads in Crumlin Jail

And that’s another reason why
They came our lads in Crumlin Jail

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James Connolly

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– performed by Kathleen Largey

Many years have rolled by since the Irish rebellion,
When the guns of Brittania they loudly did speak,
When the bold IRA battled shoulder to shoulder,
While the blood from their bodies flowed down Sackville Street.

The Four Courts of Dublin, the English bombarded,

The spirit of freedom, they tried hard to quell
But amid all the din came a voice, “No Surrender!”
’Twas the voice of James Connolly, the Irish Rebel.

A great crowd has gathered outside of Kilmainham
With their heads all uncovered they knelt on the ground
For inside that grim prison lay a true Irish soldier
His life for his country about to lay down.

He went to his death like a true son of Ireland,
The firing party he bravely did face.

Then the order rang out: “Present arms, Fire!”
James Connolly fell into a ready made grave.

The black flag they hoisted, the cruel deed was over,
Gone was a man who loved Ireland so well,
There was many a sad heart in Dublin that morning,
When they murdered James Connolly, the Irish rebel.

God’s curse on you, England, you cruel hearted monster,
Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell,
There are no flowers blooming but the Shamrock is still growing

On the grave of James Connolly, the Irish rebel.

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Four Green Fields

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– written by Tommy Makem and performed by The Flying Column

What did I have, said the fine old woman
What did I have, this proud old woman did say
I had four green fields, each one was a jewel
But strangers came and tried to take them from me
I had fine strong sons, they fought to save my jewels
They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she

Long time ago, said the fine old woman
Long time ago, this proud old woman did say
There was war and death, plundering and pillage

My people starved, by mountain, valley and sea
And their wailing cries, they reached the very heavens
And my four green fields ran red with their blood, said she

What have I now, said the fine old woman
What have I now, this proud old woman did say
I have four green fields, one of them’s in bondage
In stranger’s hands, that tried to take it from me
But my sons they have sons, as brave as were their fathers
And my fourth green field will bloom once again said she

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The Auld Triangle

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– By Brendan Behan from his play ‘The Quare Fellow’ – performed by The Dubliners

A hungry feeling came o’er me stealing

And the mice were squealing in my prison cell
And the auld triangle went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

To begin the morning a screw was bawling
‘Get up you bowsie and clean up your cell’
And the auld triangle went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

On a fine spring evening the lag lay dreaming
The seagulls wheeling high over the wall

And the auld triangle went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

The lags were sleeping, Humpy Gussy was creeping
As I lay there weeping for my girl Sal
And the auld triangle went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

The wind was rising and the day declining
As I lay pining in my prison cell
And the auld triangle went jingle jangle

All along the banks of the Royal Canal

In the female prison there are seventy five women
’Tis among them I wish I did dwell
And the auld triangle went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

The day was dying and the wind was sighing
As I lay crying in my prison cell
And the auld triangle went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

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Bobby – by Bébhinn Hurley

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Bobby
by Bébhinn Hurley.

Upon your death,
As you spent those final breathes,
She’ll never spend the soles of those who weep,
Upon the streets, of Tehran,
Into the arms of every man,
She casts the sole of this demised,
Freedom fighter to the streets of,
Bobby Sands.

Pegasus on broken past,

Beats his wings against the glass,
Chandeliers, my cavalier is in,
The sinking sand and sinking fast,
You must not struggle,
Now she is above your mouth,
Still just below your breath,

And she said, “this is it, this is the one we’ve been waiting for”,
Take him down, overthrow their laws,

Take this land, take this man,

He refuses to wear our uniforms!

1981, “Some mothers son”,
Drained and chained, he turns to bone,
But to you he’s just some mother’s son!

These are your ways, and no other ways, and now,
Now the lights are lime but he is fading all the time,

Take this land, take this man,
He refuses to wear our uniforms.

1981, “Some mothers son”,

Drained and chained, he turns to bone,
But to you he’s just some mother’s son.

And the whole world was watching,
It’s too late you did nothing,
And we can’t physically see him anymore
But he’s still here,
And your prisoners of war may have turned to dust,
But our warriors for freedom now live in us!

Upon your death,

As you spent those final breathes,
She’ll never spend the soles of those who weep,
Upon the streets, of Tehran,
Into the arms of every man,
She casts the sole of this demised,
Freedom fighter to the streets of,
Bobby Sands.

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Free Nelson Mandela – by The Specials

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Mandela Day (1988) – by Simple Minds

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Mandela Day (2008) – by Simple Minds

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Biko- by Peter Gabriel

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Joe Hill- by Paul Robeson

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Joe Hill- by Joan Baez

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I’ve Got To Know – by Woody Guthrie

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La zamba del Ché – by Víctor Jara

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Victor Jara – by Arlo Guthrie

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De mi pueblo para la guerrilla – by Julian Conrado

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