The Irish Brigade — Irish History in Song
Thomas Davis wrote several enduring Irish songs, most notably A Nation Once Again. This is his song of the Wild Geese — Irish soldiers who left Ireland under the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, who served with distinction in many of the armies of Europe.
The mess tent is full and the glasses are set And the gallant Count Thomond1 is president yet The veteran arose, like an uplifted lance Crying “Comrades, a health to the monarch of France!” With a thunderous cheer now they did as he bade For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade A health to King James and to Sarsfield was quaffed “Here’s to George the Elector,” and fiercely they laughed “Good luck to the girls we wooed long ago Where the Shannon, and Barrow, and Blackwater flow” You’d think in old Ireland that they were afraid For in battle there’s none like the Irish Brigade “But surely, that light does not come from our lamp And the boys — they’re all singing songs ’round the camp Hurrah! boys, the morning of battle has come And the generale’s beating on manys a drum” They rushed from their revel to join the parade For the sword is the light of the Irish Brigade They fought as they revelled: just, fiery, and true And, though victors, they left on the field not a few And they who survived fought and drank as before Though the land of their heart’s hope they never saw more In far foreign fields from Dunkirk to Belgrade Lay the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade In far foreign fields, from Dunkirk to Belgrade Lay the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade
This arrangement is from the Wolfe Tones’ album Irish to the Core.
- Daniel O’Brien, Count Thomond & Viscount Clare. There isn’t much about him online. ↩