Follow Me up to Carlow

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"Follow Me Up to Carlow" is an Irish folk song celebrating the defeat of an army of 3,000 English soldiers by Fiach Mac Aodh Ó Broin (anglicised Fiach McHugh O'Byrne) at the Battle of Glenmalure, during the Second Desmond Rebellion in 1580.

Composition[edit]

The air is reputed to have first been performed by the pipers of Fiach MacHugh in 1580.

The words were written by Patrick Joseph McCall (1861–1919) and appear in his Songs of Erinn (1899) under the title "Marching Song of Feagh MacHugh".[1]

Performances[edit]

The song performed by Christoph Nolte.

It has been performed by numerous Irish folk bands. Most notably, Planxty recorded it on their debut album. This is often recognised as the definitive recording.[according to whom?]

An adapted version of the song was performed by the Young Dubliners, a Celtic rock band. It can be found on their albums Breathe, Alive Alive O (live), and With All Due Respect – The Irish Sessions.

A Polish version of the song ("Do Carlow") was recorded by the band Mordewind and can be found on their second album, "Defaac'to".

The song was performed by the Spanish band Los Stompers as part of their live album "Mezzy on Stage".

Blood or Whiskey, an Irish punk/folk band from Leixlip, County Kildare, recorded it on their album "No Time To Explain".

Blood Axis, an American neofolk band, published the song on the album "Witch-Hunt: The Rites of Samhain" (1999) and "Ultimacy" (2011).

Наследие Вагантов, a Russian folk/rock band, published the translated version of the song ("Все за мной на Карлоу") on their album "Два Ворона" ("Two Ravens").

Lyrics[edit]

Lift Mac Cahir Og your face,
You're broodin' o'er the old disgrace
That Black Fitzwilliam stormed your place
and drove you to the ferns
Gray said victory was sure,
And soon the firebrand he'd secure
Until he met at Glenmalure
with Fiach McHugh O'Byrne

Chorus

Curse and swear, Lord Kildare,
Fiach will do what Fiach will dare
Now Fitzwilliam have a care,
Fallen is your star low
Up with halbert, out with sword,
on we go for, by the Lord
Fiach McHugh has given the word
"Follow me up to Carlow"

See the swords of Glen Imaal,
They're flashing o'er the English Pale
See all the childer of the Gael,
Beneath O'Byrne's banner
Rooster of the fighting stock,
Would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish Rock,
Fly up and teach him manners

Chorus

From Tassagart to Clonmore,
There flows a stream of Saxon gore
And great is Rory Og O'More
At sending loons to Hades
White is sick and Gray is fled,
And now for black Fitzwilliam's head
We'll send it over, dripping red
to Liza and her ladies

Chorus

Lyrics by Planxty[edit]

Lift MacCahir Óg your face brooding o'er the old disgrace
That black Fitzwilliam stormed your place, drove you to the Fern
Grey said victory was sure soon the firebrand he'd secure;
Until he met at Glenmalure with Fiach Mac Hugh O'Byrne.

CHORUS

Curse and swear Lord Kildare
Fiach will do what Fiach will dare
Now Fitzwilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star, low
Up with halbert out with sword
On we'll go for by the Lord
Fiach MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow.

See the swords of Glen Imayle, flashing o'er the English Pale
See all the children of the Gael, beneath O'Byrne's banners
Rooster of a fighting stock, would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock, fly up and teach him manners.

From Saggart to Clonmore, there flows a stream of Saxon gore
O, great is Rory Óg O'More, sending the loons to Hades.
White is sick and Lane is fled, now for black Fitzwilliam's head
We'll send it over dripping red, to Queen Liza and the ladies.

(per Christy Moore's home page)[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patrick Joseph McCall, Songs of Erinn (London and Dublin, 1899), 22-23.(external link to source)
  2. ^ http://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/follow-me-up-to-carlow/