Irish Rebel Music

Irish Rebel Music

Irish Rebel Music is a sub-genre of Irish Folk Music that immortalizes events and people significant in the Irish nationalist struggle, particularly songs against Britain.

Perhaps the most well-known Irish rebel song is Four Green Fields. It is a metaphorical description of the occupation of Ireland.

Four Green Fields
What did I have, said the fine old woman
What did I have, this proud old woman did say
I had four green fields, each one was a jewel
But strangers came and tried to take them from me
I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels
They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she

Long time ago, said the fine old woman
Long time ago, this proud old woman did say
There was war and death, plundering and pillage
My children starved, by mountain, valley and sea
And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens
My four green fields ran red with their blood, said she

What have I now, said the fine old woman
What have I now, this proud old woman did say
I have four green fields, one of them's in bondage
In stranger's hands, that tried to take it from me
But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers
My fourth green field will bloom once again said she

Youtube recording of Four Green Fields by Jim McCann and The Dubliners.


The anger during the aftermath of Bloody Sunday produced this song.

Go On Home, British Soldiers

(Chorus)
Go on home British soldiers go on home,
Have you got no bloody homes of your own?
For eight hundred years we've fought you without fear
And we will fight you for eight hundred more.

If you stay British soldiers, if you stay
You'll never ever beat the IRA
The fourteen men in Derry are the last that you will bury
So take a tip and leave us while you may.

Chorus

No! We're not British, we're not Saxon, we're not English
We're Irish! and proud we are to be!
So f*ck your Union Jack we want our country back
We want to see old Ireland free once more.

Chorus

Well, we're fighting British soldiers for the cause
We'll never bow to soldiers because
Throughout our history we were born to be free
So get out British bastards leave us be.

Chorus
Chorus

Youtube recording of Go on Home, British Soldiers


This Ballad commemorates the controversial shooting of three IRA volunteers in Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar Three/Streets of Gibraltar

[Chorus]
Sad are three homes in Belfast now
Old Ireland shares their sorrow
Mairéad Farrell, Sean Savage and Daniel McCann
They died on the streets of Gibraltar

They flew out of Belfast with an ambitious plan
To continue the struggle to free Ireland
Mairéad Farrell, Sean Savage and Daniel McCann
But they died on the streets of Gibraltar

Hidden eyes had been watching, they followed each one
They knew they weren't armed, that none had a gun
We'll give them a warning and no chance to run
For all three must die here on Gibraltar

[Chorus]

The SAS stood there, so proud of their deed
Three more freedom fighters lay dead in the street
Like those eight Loughall Martyrs, an ambush they did meet
Our gallant three far away in Gibraltar

[Chorus]

Mairéad while in prison we watched you with pride
True to all you believed in and for this you've died
With two fine volunteers, Dan and Sean at your side
A part of us died in Gibraltar

[Chorus]

It happens each time that a volunteer dies
They screen out the truth with a cover of lies
But we know what happened although it denied
They planned their deaths on Gibraltar.

[Chorus]

Athenrye sings The Streets of Gibraltar on youtube.


This song immortalizes the Rebellion of 1798.

Rising of the Moon

And come tell me Sean O'Farrell, tell me why you hurry so
Hush a bhuachaill, hush and listen and his cheeks were all aglow
I bear orders from the captain, get you ready quick and soon
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon

And come tell me Sean O'Farrell, where the gathering is to be
At the old spot by the river quite well known to you and me
One more word for signal token, whistle out the marching tune
With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon

Out from many a mud walled cabin eyes were watching through the night
Many a manly heart was beating for the blessed morning's light
Murmurs ran along the valley to the banshee's lonely croon
And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon
By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon
And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon

All along that singing river, that black mass of men was seen
High above their shining weapons flew their own beloved green
Death to every foe and traitor, whistle out the marching tune
And hoorah me boys for freedom 'tis the rising of the moon
'Tis the rising of the moon, 'tis the rising of the moon
And hoorah me boys for freedom 'tis the rising of the moon

Oh they fought for poor old Ireland and full bitter was her fate
Oh, what glorious pride and sorrow filled the name of ninety-eight
Yet, thank God, e'en still are beating hearts in manhood burning noon,
Who will follow in their footsteps at the rising of the moon?
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
Who will follow in their footsteps at the rising of the moon?

Peter, Paul, & Mary sing Rising of the Moon.

Na Casidigh, an Irish band, sings Rising of the Moon.


This folk song commemorates the crushing defeat suffered by the British Army at the Battle of Glenmalure. They were defeated by the Gaelic chieftain Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne during the Desmond Rebellion.

Follow Me Up to Carlow

Lift MacCahir Óg your face, brooding o'er the old disgrace
That black FitzWilliam stormed your place, drove you to the Fern
Grey said victory was sure - Soon the firebrand he'd secure
Until he met at Glenmalure with Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne.

(Chorus)
Curse and swear Lord Kildare
Fiach will do what Fiach will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star low
Up with halberd out with sword
On we'll go for by the lord
Fiach MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow!

See the swords of Glen Imall, flashing o'er the English Pale
See all the children of the Gael, beneath O'Byrne's banners
Rooster of a fighting stock, would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock- fly up and teach him manners.

Chorus

From Tassagart to Clonmore, there flows a stream of Saxon gore
Och, great is Rory Óg O'More, sending the loons to Hades.
White is sick and Lane is fled, now for black FitzWilliam's head
We'll send it over, dripping red, to Queen Liza and the ladies.

Chorus

Planxty sings on Follow me up to Carlow youtube.


This ballad commemorates…

Belfast Brigade

Craigavon sent the Specials out,
To shoot the people down,
He thought the IRA were dead,
In dear old Belfast town,
But he got a rude awakening,
With cannon and grenade,
When he met the First Battalion,
Of the Belfast Brigade.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory to old Ireland,
Glory, glory to this island,
Glory to the memory of the men
Who fought and died,
"No surrender" is the war cry of
The Belfast Brigade.

The soldiers came from Holywood,
Equipped with English guns,
There were men by the thousand,
Ammunition by the ton,
But when they got to Belfast,
They were seriously delayed,
By the fighting First Battalion
Of the Belfast Brigade.

Chorus

We have no ammunition,
Or no armoured tanks to show,
But we're ready to defend ourselves,
No matter where we go,
We're out for our Republic,
And to hell with your Free State,
"No surrender" is the war cry
Of the Belfast Brigade.

Chorus

Come all you gallant Irishmen,
And join the IRA
We'll strike a blow for freedom,
When it comes a certain day,
You know your country's history,
And the sacrifice it made,
Come join the First Battalion
Of the Belfast Brigade.

Youtube recording of


The anthem of the IRA.

Green, White, and Gold

Give me the Irish Republican Army,
Give me the Green, White, and Gold every time.
Give me the three-leaved shamrock of Ireland,
A land I love that is so divine.
Send the English back where they came from,
To Hell
Give us our country back again.

Give me the Irish Republican Army,
To make our land a nation once again.
Side by side, our heroes died,
Answering Ireland's only call.
All through the years, blood, sweat & tears,
They fought from Cork to Donegal.
Although they're gone, we struggle on,
For Ireland united and free.
So don't give in, for we must win
For a land of peace and liberty.

Give me the Irish Republican Army,
Give me the Green, White, and Gold every time.
Give me the three-leaved shamrock of Ireland,
A land I love that is so divine.
Send the English back where they came from,
To Hell
Give us our country back again.
Give me the Irish Republican Army,
To make our land a nation once again.

James Connolly, Cathal Brugha,
Pearse and the brave Wolfe Tone,
Sean McNellis, Bobby Sands,
And Sean South from Garryowen.
Armagh, and Derry, Belfast City,
They still struggle to be free
So Irishmen, unite again,
To make a land of peace and liberty.

Give me the Irish Republican Army,
Give me the Green, White, and Gold every time.
Give me the three-leaved shamrock of Ireland,
A land I love that is so divine.
Send the English back where they came from,
To Hell
Give us our country back again.
Give me the Irish Republican Army,
To make our land a nation once again.

Youtube recording of Green, White, and Gold

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