DEAR OLD IRELAND

Timothy Daniel Sullivan

This ballad became immensely popular among the Irish in America. It is said that during the American Civil War, Irish soldiers in the Union army sang it on the eve of the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862, and across the Rappahanock River it was taken up by Irishmen in the Confederate camp.

Deep in Canadian woods weve, met
From one bright island flown;
Great is the land we tread but yet
Our hearts are with our own
And ere we leave this shanty small,
While fades the autumn day
Well toast old Ireland, dear old Ireland,
Ireland, boys, Hurrah!

Weve heard her faults a hundred times,
The new ones and the old,
In songs and sermons, rants and rhymes,
Enlarged some fifty-fold.
But take them all, the great and small,
And this weve got to say:
Heres dear old Ireland, good old Ireland,
Ireland, boys, hurrah!

Weve seen the wedding and the wake,
The pattern and the fair,
The lithe young frames at the dear old games
In the kindly Irish air;
And the loud "Hurroo!", weve heard it too,
And the thundering "Clear the way!"
Heres old Ireland, dear old Ireland,
Ireland, boys, Hurrah!

And well we know in cool grey eyes,
When the hard days work is oer,
How soft and sweet are the words that greet
The friends who meet once more:
With "Mary Machree!" and "My Pat, tis thee!"
And "My own heart night and day!"
And fond old Ireland, dear old Ireland,
Ireland, boys, Hurrah!

And happy and bright are the groups that pass
From their peaceful homes for miles
Oer the fields and roads and the hills to Mass,
When Sunday morning smiles!
And deep the zeal their true hearts feel
When low they kneel to pray,
In dear old Ireland, blessed old Ireland,
Ireland, boys, Hurrah!

But deep in Canadian woods weve met,
And we never may see again
The dear old isle where our hearts are set
And our first fond hopes remain!
But come fill up another cup,
And with every sup well say:
Heres loved old Ireland, good old Ireland,
Ireland, boys, Hurrah!


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