Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Trad Tuesday - Skibbereen by the Wolfe Tones



Skibbereen, also known as Dear Old Skibbereen, 'Farewell to Skibbereen', or 'Revenge For Skibbereen', is an Irish folk song, in the form of a dialogue wherein a father tells his son about the Great Hunger (Án Gorta Mór), being evicted from their home, and the need to flee as a result of the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848.

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish rebel band that take their name from Irish patriot of the 1798 rebellion, Theobald Wolfe Tone

'Skibbereen'
(Patrick Carpenter)
O, Father dear, I oft times heard you talk of Erin's Isle
Her valleys green, her lofty scene, her mountains rude and wild
You said it was a pleasant place wherein a prince might dwell
Why have you then forsaken her, the reason to me tell?
My son, I loved our native land with energy and pride
Until a blight fell on the land and sheep and cattle died
The rents and taxes were to pay, I could not them redeem
And that's the cruel reason why I left Old Skibbereen
It's well I do remember on a bleak November's day
The landlord and his agent came to drive us all away
He set my house on fire with his demon yellow spleen
And that's another reason why I left Old Skibbereen
Your mother, too, God rest her soul, lay on the snowy ground
She fainted in her anguish of the desolation round
She never rose, but went her way from life to death's long dream
And found a quiet grave, my boy, in lovely Skibbereen
It's well I do remember the year of forty-eight
When we arose with Erin's boys to fight against our fate
I was hunted through the mountains as a traitor to the Queen
And that's another reason that I left Old Skibbereen
Oh father dear, the day will come when vengeance loud will call
And we'll arise with Erin's boys and rally one and all
I'll be the man to lead the van, beneath our flag of green
And loud and high we'll raise the cry, "Revenge for Skibbereen!"