The Boys of Wexford

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"The Boys of Wexford" is an Irish ballad commemorating the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and, more specifically, the Wexford Rebellion. The ballad was lyrics were composed by Patrick Joseph McCall and music by Arthur Warren Darley, who also composed other Wexford ballads, "Boolavogue" and "Kelly the Boy from Killanne".[1]

Irish folk group, The Clancy Brothers, recorded "The Boys of Wexford" on the 1995 album, Older But No Wiser. The Wolfe Tones also recorded the song on their debut 1965 album The Foggy Dew


We are the boys of Wexford,
Who fought with heart and hand
To burst in twain the galling chain
And free our native land.

In comes the captain's daughter,
The captain of the Yeos,
Saying "Brave United Irishmen,
We'll ne'er again be foes.
A thousand pounds I'll bring
If you will fly from home with me,
And dress myself in man's attire
And fight for liberty."

I want no gold, my maiden fair,
To fly from home with thee.
Your shining eyes will be my prize,
More dear than gold to me.
I want no gold to nerve my arm
To do a true man's part -
To free my land I'd gladly give
The red drops of my heart."

And when we left our cabins, boys,
We left with right good will
To see our friends and neighbours
That were at Vinegar Hill!
A young man from our Irish ranks
A cannon he let go;
He slapt it into Lord Mountjoy
A tyrant he laid low!

We bravely fought and conquered
At Ross and Wexford town;
And if we failed to keep them,
'Twas drink that brought us down.
We had no drink beside us
On Tubberneering's day,
Depending on the long, bright pike,
And well it worked that way.

And Oulart's name shall be their shame,
Whose steel we ne'er did fear.
For every man could do his part
Like Forth and Shelmalier!
And if for want of leaders,
We lost at Vinegar Hill,
We're ready for another fight,
And love our country still!


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