In 1866, some 1200 Fenian troops, mostly from Meagher's Irish Brigade, invaded Canada, crossing at Buffalo. The first loyalist resistance came from the Queen's Own Rifles, a Toronto-garrisoned force consisting largely of young college gentlemen, and led by Colonel Alfred Booker. The Loyalists were routed, in one of the Fenian's few victories.

The Queen's Own Regiment was their name;
From fair Toronto town they came
To put the Irish all to shame -
The Queen's and Colonel Boker!

What fury fills each loyal mind!
No volunteer would stay behind.
They flung their red rag to the wind -
"Hurrah, my boys!" said Boker.

Now helter skelter Ohio,
See how they play that "heel and toe"!
See how they run from their Irish foe -
The Queen's and Colonel Boker!

From Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, Fowke


This page is a part of Philipp's Home Of The Free.