Take It Down From The Mast Lyrics And Guitar Chords
The treaty was signed 6 December 1921 and this song was recorded on 6 Decemuber 1971, 50 years after the treaty. The guitar chords are for the version by Declan Hunt. Recorded by The Dubliners with Ciarán Burke doing the singing. Also recorded by Athenry, Declan Hunt, Dominic Behan, The Battering Ram and The Dublin City Ramblers
Take[G] it down from the mast, Irish traitors,
The [C]flag we Republicans[G] claim.
It can never belong to Free [D]Staters.
You [C]brought on it [D]nothing but [G]shame.
Then leave it to those who are willin'
To uphold it in war or in peace.
To the men who intend to do the killing
Until England's tyranny cease.
You've[G] taken our brave Liam and Rory,
You've [C]murdered young Richard and [G]Joe.
Your hands with their blood are still [D]gory,
From [C]fillin' the [D]work of the [G]foe.
You sold out the Six Counties for your freedom
When we have" given you McCracken and Wolfe Tone
And brave Ulstermen have fought for you in Dublin
Now you watch as we fight on alone.
And up in Ulster we're fighting on for freedom
For our people they yearn to be free
You executed those men who fought for us
With a hangman from over the sea.
For we stand with Enright and Larkin,
With Daley and Sullivan the bold.
We'll break down the English connection,
And bring back the nation you sold.
Take it down from the mast, Irish traitors,
The flag we Republicans claim.
It can never belong to Free Staters,
You brought on in nothing but shame
Names mentioned in the song include. Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor and Joseph McKelvey Who were all in The Four Courts when it was shelled by Free State Forces.
They surrendered after two days of intense Fighting and were all later executed in reprisal for the killing of Free Stater Sean Hales. The singer here with The Dubliners Is Ciaran Burke.
The song was written by James Ryan in 1923 and re-written by Dominic Behan in 1953, The I.R.A. at the time regarded their Civil War opponents as traitors and therefore unworthy to use the Irish tricolour. I have been reluctant for many years to place this song on the site because it takes the side of the anti treaty and the fact that only a few months earlier they all fought side by side for a common goal and now they are called ''anti Irish'' , it's a contentious song that I have never heard sang at a ballad session and believe me I have been to hundreds.
Every four to five years when there's a general election in Ireland people still vote for the party that took one side or the other during the Civil War even though it's been almost 80 years