King Laoghaire - Irish Ballads & Tunes

The Soldier's Song

Peadar Kearney

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song
With cheering rousing chorus
As round our blazing fires we throng
The starry heavens o'er us
Impatient for the coming fight
And as we wait the morning's light
Here in the silence of the night
We'll chant a soldier's song

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave
Sworn to be free
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal
We'll chant a soldier's song

In valley green, on towering crag
Our fathers fought before us
And conquered 'neath the same old flag
That's proudly floating o'er us
We're children of a fighting race
That never yet has known disgrace
And as we march, the foe to face
We'll chant a soldier's song

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave
Sworn to be free
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal
We'll chant a soldier's song

Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking
Our camp fires now are burning low
See in the east a silv'ry glow
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe
So chant a soldier's song

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave
Sworn to be free
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal
We'll chant a soldier's song

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The Soldier's Song was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, an uncle of Brendan Behan, but was not widely known until it was sung both at the GPO during the Easter Rising of 1916 and later at various camps where republicans were interned. Soon after, it was adopted as the national anthem, replacing God Save Ireland. The first edition of the song was published only in 1916.

The same song with Gaelic words is Amhrán Na BhFiann.


On This Day

in 1185: Henry II's son John lands at Waterford to assert control over Hugh de Lacy, but he fails. Henry suspects that de Lacy wants to be king of Ireland.

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