Lyrics

'Tis now we'd want to be wary, boys
The recruiters are out in Tipperary, boys
If they offer a glass, we'll wink as they pass
We're old birds for chaff in Tipperary, boys

Then hurrah for the gallant Tipperary boys
Although we're "cross and contrary" boys
There's never a one will handle a gun
Except for the Green and Tipperary, boys

Now mind what John Bull did here, my boys
In the days of our Famine and fear, my boys
He burned and sacked, he plundered and racked
Old Ireland of Irish to clear, my boys

Now Bull wants to pillage and rob, my boys
And put the proceeds in his fob, my boys
But let each Irish blade just stick to his trade
And let Bull do his own dirty job, my boys

So never to 'list be in haste, my boys
Or a glass of drugged whiskey to taste, my boys
If to India you go it's to grief and to woe
And to rot and to die like a beast, my boys

But now he is beat for men, my boys
His army is getting so thin, my boys
With the fever and ague, the sword and the plague
O the devil a fear that he'll win, my boys

Then mind not the nobblin' old schemer, boys
Though he says that he's richer than Damer, boys
Though he bully and roar, his power is o'er
And his black heart will shortly be tamer, boys

Now, isn't Bull peaceful and civil, boys
In his mortal distress and his evil, boys?
But we'll cock each caubeen when his sergeants are seen
And we'll tell them to go to the devil, boys

Then hurrah for the gallant Tipperary boys
Although we're "cross and contrary" boys
There's never a one will handle a gun
Except for the Green and Tipperary, boys

January 7, 1868: A British military force under Sir Robert Napier invades Abyssinia in order to compel King Theodore to release the imprisoned British consul. Once again Irishmen are called upon to die for the Empire. After a short campaign - victory.

Prime Minister Disraeli: "He (Napier) led the elephants of Asia, bearing the artillery of Europe, over broken passes which might have startled the trapper of Canada and appalled the hunter of the Alps... and we find the standard of St. George hoisted upon the mountains of Rasselas".

John Clark Ridpath, writing in his "Life And Times Of Gladstone" (1895), picks up the story: "Thus much for Abyssinia. What of Ireland? In that country things went from bad to worse. There had never been peace. For fully six hundred years of political connection between Ireland and England there had been in the former country only distress, alienation, and the ever-burning spirit of resentment and insurrection... But it is in the character of Great Britain to pursue toward her subject peoples a long course of oppression and spoilation, and then, when her subjects, thus wronged, turn upon her, she calls them rebels, revolutionists, incendiaries and assassins".

caubeen = cap
Damer = John Damer, wealthy 18th-century English nobleman

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