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This song refers to the Easter Uprising of 1916, when
a handful of ill-equipped Irish fighting men struck out
against the oppression and occupation of the British
Empire. Given the odds, the outcome was predictably
disastrous in terms of their losses.. and large parts of
the city of Dublin, often hailed as one of the fairest
cities in Europe, were reduced to smouldering rubble.
However, the bravery of those who fought in protest
inspired many others to fight for the freedom of their
nation. The song was written around 1919 by
Canon Charles O’Neill, a parish priest of Kilcoo and,
later, of Newcastle, County Down.


T'was was down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I
When Ireland's lines of marching men
In squadrons passed me by
No pipe did hum, no battle drum
Did sound it's fierce tattoo
But the Angelus Bell o'er the Liffey's swell
Rang out in the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin town
They flung out a flag of war
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath
Strong men came hurrying through
While Brittania's sons with their long range guns
Sailed in through the foggy dew

Oh, the night drew black and the rifles' crack
Made perfidious Albion reel
'Mid the leaden rail, seven tongues of flame
Shone out o'er the lines of steel
By each shining blade, a prayer was said
That, to Ireland, her sons be true
And when morning broke, still the war flag shook
Out its fold in the foggy dew

T'was England bade our Wild Geese go,
That small nations might be free
But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
or the fringe of the grey North Sea
Oh, but had they died by Pearse's side
or had fought with Cathal Brugha
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep
'Neath the shroud of the foggy dew

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springtime of the year
And the world did gaze with deep amaze
At those fearless men and true
Who bore the fight that freedom's light
Might shine through the foggy dew

And back through the glen did I ride again
And my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men
Whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go
And I kneel and pray for you
For slavery fled, oh glorious dead
When you fell in the foggy dew


from Fields of the North, released February 1, 2003
Guitar, Vocals - Michael Kelly



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