Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Patriot Game

Irish. From Ireland.
By Dominic Behan
Rise Up Singing chapter: Struggle, p.217

C F Em G C - / G C F Em Am - / G C F C F C / - F Em G F C

Come all you young rebels and list while I sing
For the love of one's land is a terrible thing
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame
And makes us all part of the patriot game

My name is O'Hanlon, I'm just gone sixteen
My home is in Monaghan*, and there I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England to blame
And so I'm a part of the patriot game
*Monaghan pronounced

It's barely a year since I wandered away
With the local battalions of the bold I.R.A.
I read of our heroes and wanted the same
To play up my part in the patriot game

This Ireland of mine has long been half-free
Six counties** are under John Bull's monarchy
But still De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the patriot game

**County Down, County Antrim, County Londonderry, County Tyrone, County Fermanagh, County Armagh

This Ireland of ours has long been half-free
Six counties are under John Bull's tyranny
But most of our leaders is greatly to blame
For shirking their parts in the patriot game

They told me how Connolly*** was shot in his chair****
His wounds from the fighting all bleeding and bare
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game

And now as I lie with my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained and sold
I'm sorry my rifle has not done the same
For the traitors who sold out the patriot game

****From Father Aloysius, who was present at Connolly's death:
"They carried him from the ambulance to the jail yard and put him in a chair. He was very brave and cool. I said to him, 'Will you pray for the men who are about to shoot you' and he said: 'I will say a prayer for all brave men who do their duty.' His prayer was 'Forgive them for they know not what they do' and then they shot him."

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