God save Ireland

Timothy Daniel Sullivan (1827 - 1914)

 

High upon the gallows tree, swung the noble-hearted three,
By the vengeful tyrant, stricken in their bloom.
But they met him face to face with the courage of their race,
And they went with souls undaunted to their doom.

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.
"God save Ireland," said them all.
"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

Grit around with cruel foes, sure their courage proudly rose,
For they thought of hearts that loved them far and near.
Of the millions true and brave, o'er the ocean's swelling wave,
And the friends in Holy Ireland ever dear!

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.
"God save Ireland," said them all.
"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

Climbed they up the rugged stair, rang their voices out in prayer,
Then with England's fatal cord about them cast.
Close beside the gallows tree, kissed like brothers lovingly,
True to home and faith, and freedom to the last!

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.
"God save Ireland," said them all.
"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

Never 'til the latest day shall the memory pass away,
Of those gallant lives thus given for our land.
And on the cause must go, amidst joy and weal and woe,
'Til me make our isle a nation, free and grand!

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.
"God save Ireland," said them all.
"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

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God Save Ireland was the unofficial National Anthem of Ireland until it was replaced by Amhrán na bhFiann, (A Soldiers Song) in 1926.

The song pays homage to the Manchester Martyrs. The three Irishmen, William Philip Allen, Michael Larkin, and Michael O'Brien, were executed on  November 23, 1867 after been found guilty of murdering a policeman during a successful attempt to rescue two Fenian prisoners. The rescue itself is subject of the song The Smashing Of The Van.

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Timothy Daniel Sullivan  was an Irish nationalist, journalist, politician and poet who wrote the Irish national hymn "God Save Ireland", in 1867. He was the brother of Alexander Martin Sullivan, also a journalist and politician. He was born at Bantry, County Cork.


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