The Irish Volunteer

Something for the weekend.  The Irish Volunteer.  A mainstay of the Union armies in the eastern theater during the Civil War were Irish Americans who volunteered in huge numbers to fight.  This song was popular among the men who fought so gallantly on many a field for their adopted nation.

My name is Tim McDonald, I’m a native of the Isle,
I was born among old
Erin’s bogs when I was but a child.
My father fought in ” ‘Ninety-eight,” for
liberty so dear;
He fell upon old Vinegar Hill, like an Irish
volunteer.
Then raise the harp of Erin, boys, the flag we all revere
We’ll
fight and fall beneath its folds, like Irish volunteers!
Then raise the harp
of Erin, boys, the flag we all revere
We’ll fight and fall beneath its folds,
like Irish volunteers!

When I was driven from my home by an oppressor’s
hand,
I cut my sticks and greased my brogues, and came o’er to this
land.
I found a home and many friends, and some that I love dear;
Be
jabbers! I’ll stick to them like bricks and an Irish volunteer.
Then fill
your glasses up, my boys, and drink a hearty cheer,
To the land of our
adoption and the Irish volunteer!
Then fill your glasses up, my boys, and
drink a hearty cheer,
To the land of our adoption and the Irish
volunteer!

Now when the traitors in the south commenced a warlike
raid,
I quickly then laid down my hod, to the devil went my spade!
To a
recruiting-office then I went, that happened to be near,
And joined the good
old “Sixty-ninth,” like an Irish volunteer.
Then fill the ranks and march
away!–no traitors do we fear;
We’ll drive them all to blazes, says the Irish
volunteer.
Then fill the ranks and march away!–no traitors do we
fear;
We’ll drive them all to blazes, says the Irish volunteer

When
the Prince of Wales came over here, and made a hubbaboo,
Oh, everybody turned
out, you know, in gold and tinsel too;
But then the good old Sixty-ninth
didn’t like these lords or peers
They wouldn’t give a damn for kings, the
Irish volunteers!
We love the land of Liberty, its laws we will
revere,
“But the divil take nobility!” says the Irish volunteer!
We love
the land of Liberty, its laws we will revere,
“But the divil take nobility!”
says the Irish volunteer!

Now if the traitors in the South should ever
cross our roads,
We’ll drive them to the divil, as Saint Patrick did the
toads;
We’ll give them all short nooses that come just below the
ears,
Made strong and good of Irish hemp by Irish volunteers.
then here’s
to brave McClennan whom the arny now reveres
He’ll lead us on to victory,
the Irish volunteers.
Then here’s to brave McClellan, whom the army now
reveres
He’ll lead us on to victory, the Irish volunteers.

Now fill
your glasses up, my boys, a toast come drink with me,
May Erin’s Harp and the
Starry Flag united ever be;
May traitors quake, and rebels shake, and tremble
in their fears,
When next they meet the Yankee boys and Irish
volunteers!
God bless the name of Washington! that name this land
reveres;
Success to Meagher and Nugent, and their Irish volunteers!
God
bless the name of Washington! that name this land reveres;
Success to Meagher
and Nugent, and their Irish volunteers!


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Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (3)  
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3 Comments

  1. Funny how McClellen looked better at the time than looking back.

    Funny, too, how Irish Catholics were looked upon as traitors by the English, and yet they branded the South as traitors and took up the Union cause.

    I thought the song was going somewhere when it mentioned the oppressor’s hand, but it is unclear if the song addresses the reason behind the South’s insistence on states rights.

  2. McClellan took care of his soldiers, making certain they were well fed and well clothed. He was useless as a battlefield commander, but the men knew that he held them in high esteem and they returned the sentiment.

    Irish Catholics in the South rallied behind the Confederacy. Here is a song that was a favorite of Irish Catholics fighting under the Stars and Bars:

    http://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/kellys-irish-brigade/

    The Irish in the South however were dwarfed in numbers by the Irish in the North, and more immigrants came from Ireland to the North throughout the War, many enlisting off the boat in the Union army.

  3. So much of a person’s Catholicism depends on the circumstances. Funny how the more things change the more they stay the same.

    Thank you for the Irish Brigade.

    Whimsy (Kelly)


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