Theresa O’Connor

Boys of the County Cork — Irish History in Song

Cork has been known as “the rebel county” since the Wars of the Roses, but her rebel spirit didn’t stop then. Cork saw more than its share of action and suffering during the Irish War of Independence. Here’s a typical rebel song about Cork’s contribution during that conflict.

Meet the boys from Kerry, and meet the boys from Clare
From Dublin, Wicklow, Donegal and the boys from old Kildare
Some came from the land beyond the sea, from Boston and New York
But the boys who beat the Black and Tans were the boys from the County Cork!

You’ve read in the history’s pages the heroes of great fame
The deeds they’ve done, the battles won and how they won their fame
But the boys who made the history for the Orange, White and Green
Were the boys who died in Dublin town in 1916

Praise the brave battalions who fought the Black and Tans
From Liffey, Nore and Shannon, from Lagan, Suir and Bann
Our honor to those volunteers who for duty did report
Yet the best of all the soldiers were the lads from the County Cork!

Now Cork gave us MacSwiney, a martyr for to die
And Wicklow gave us Dwyer in days so long gone by
Dublin gave us Pádraig Pearse, McBride and Cathal Brugha
And America gave us De Valera to see ol’ Ireland through

Rifles and revolvers were all that we possessed
A stick or two of gelignite for arms we were hard pressed
Yet we used them gamely ’gainst all that they did sport
And none had so much bravery as the boys of the County Cork!