all mankind inclined like me,
live in peace and unity,
more contention there would be,
the men of Erin.
we were all sprung,
father Adam, old and young,
words should fall from every tongue:
will cherish peace in Erin.
formed by one Deity,
worship him, let’s all agree,
live in peace and harmony
every class in Erin.
Sundays, if our paths should lie,
Clough, or to the Glens* hard by,
should this weaken friendship’s tie,
the men of Erin!
land can boast so pure an air;
men so fine, or maids so fair,
who was e’en renowned in war,
the men of Erin?
courage far abroad is known,
the field of Mars their victory shone;
let us cultivate at home,
laws of peace in Erin!
fortune fair and commerce shine,
my own, my native isle,
Egypt with her flowing Nile,
equal thee, dear Erin;
lapping lakes and flowing streams,
verdant groves where music rings,
health, with healing in her wings,
bless this land of Erin.
principle that shows the man,
is the one, the only plan,
one that I have built upon,
rambling through old Erin.
let us, in this present day,
prejudice and spleen away,
far across the Atlantic Sea,
all join hands in Erin!
refers to the political topography of Northern Ireland. In previously
planted areas, Catholics tend to live in
the high ground, Protestants in the valleys and hence places of
worship for Protestants are most often in the villages,
for Catholics most often on the fringes – in the glens. This is a
very powerful image of our division and
a powerful plea for unity.
read, this song is strong enough. When sung, it takes on an immediacy
and passion which allows children and adolescents to understand its
essence at one hearing and afterwards more readily listen to a fuller
explanation. Teachers need such an aid.
is now being sung throughout Ireland being as appropriate today as
when first written. It was composed in 1831 by Hugh McWilliams, a
hedge schoolmaster and a Catholic, who was born in Glenavy, County
Antrim, about 1783 and who taught near Newtownards in County Down and
in Clough in County Antrim.
had a special consciousness of the tradition of sung poetry,
specifying a tune for almost all his songs. For this song he used the
tune of Robert Burns’ song, ‘Now Wrestlin’ Winds and Slaughtering
The horrifying events of the first weekend of March 2009 when terror returned to the streets of Northern
Ireland and heartbreak to its homes was a depressing reminder that peace, as fine and as lovely as a precious jewel,
is also as fragile as the wings of a butterfly. The message of this lovely old song needs to take root
in all Irish hearts of Green and of Orange, even in those that are coldest and hardest...