Dying Rebel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"The Dying Rebel" is a popular Irish rebel song about a man finding a dying Irish rebel from County Cork in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising. Its age is uncertain, but it is still sung by contemporary Irish singers.[1]

The song does not refer to the death of any particular rebel.[2] It reflects on the human cost of rebellion rather than the glorification of the conflict and the martyrdom of its leaders.[3] It has been performed and recorded by many Irish artists. It originates from sometime before 1961, but the author is unknown.

It was recorded in Ireland on the Glenside label in 1961 by Patricia Blake.[4]

It was recorded by Tommy Drennan and the Monarchs in 1966 and released on the Ember label album Fifty Years After.[5] It was re-released on the Celtic Pride label, on Kevin Barry, in 1999. Dominic Behan recorded it on the soundtrack of the 1966 TV documentary Rebellion At Easter.[6]

More recently it was recorded by The Wolfe Tones, Sonny Knowles (on Sunshine and Shamrocks), Margo on Country and Irish, The Jolly Beggarmen (on The Very Best of Irish Rebel Songs), Athenrye (on The Dying Rebel, 1997) and the Merry Ploughboys (on their second album, Unharnessed, 1999).[7] A popular version of the song was recorded by Éire Óg, although the song was written decades before the band formed.


  1. ^ Songs and recitations of Ireland, Book 2, "The Harp". Cork, Ireland: C. F. N. 1973. p. 14. 
  2. ^ Glassie, Henry H. (2008). Passing the time in Ballymenone: culture and history of an Ulster community. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. p. 833. 
  3. ^ Warfield, Derek; Daly, Raymond (2010). Celtic and Ireland in Song and in Story. University of Michigan. p. 289. ISBN 0956104703. 
  4. ^ Billboard, 23 October 1961
  5. ^ Billboard, 17 June 1967
  6. ^ "Irish Film and TV Research Online". Rebellion at Easter. Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Merry Ploughboys". Irish Music CDs. Merry Ploughboys. Retrieved March 20, 2013.