The Bold Fenian Men lyrics and guitar chords
Written by Michael Scanlon. This is the real ''Bold Fenian Men'' song, the other song ''Down By The Glenside'' by Peadar Kearney is often mistitled. Recorded by The Wolfe Tones, The Go Lucky Four on the album ''Irish Capers'' in 1967. Paddy Reilly and by The Merry Ploughboys. The video is by The Dublin City Ramblers. The guitar chords can be used to play the song on the mandolin. The ukulele chord shapes are included.
[G] See who comes over the [D] red blossomed heather,
Their [G] green banners [D] kissing the [G] pure mountain [D] air,
Heads [G] erect, eyes front, stepping [D] proudly together,
Sure [G] freedom sits [D] throned on each [D] proud [D] spirit [G] there,
Down the hill twining, their [Em] blessed steel [G] shining,
Like [Bm] rivers of [G] beauty that [A7] flow from each [D] glen,
From [G] mountain and [Em] valley 'tis [Am] Liberty's [D7] rally -
[G] Out and make [Bm] way for the [C] Bold [D] Fenian [G] Men!
Our prayers and our tears they have scoffed and derided,
They've shut out God's sunlight from spirit and mind
Our foes were united and we were divided,
We met and they scattered our ranks to the wind
But once more returning, within our veins burning
The fires that illuminated dark Aherlow glen
We raise the old cry anew, slogan of Conn and Hugh,
Out and make way for the bold Fenian Men.
We've men from the Nore, from the Suir and Shannon,
Let the tyrant come forth, we'll bring force against force
Our pen is the sword and our voice is the cannon,
Rifle for rifle and horse against horse
We've made the false Saxon yield many a red battlefield
God on our side, we will triumph again -
Pay them back woe for woe, give them back blow for blow
Out and make way for the bold Fenian Men!
Side by side for the cause have our forefathers battled,
When our hills never echoed the tread of a slave,
In many a field where the leaden hail rattled,
Through the red gap of glory they marched to their grave,
And those who inherit their name and their spirit,
Will march 'neath the banners of liberty then:
All who love foreign law - native or Sassanach -
Must out and make way for the bold Fenian Men.
Guitar chords in the key of D.
[D] See who comes over the [A] red blossomed heather,
Their [D] green banners [A] kissing the [D] pure mountain [A] air,
Heads [D] erect, eyes front, stepping [A] proudly together,
Sure [D] freedom sits [A] throned on each [A] proud [A] spirit [D] there,
Down the hill twining, their [Bm] blessed steel [D] shining,
Like [F#m] rivers of [D] beauty that [E7] flow from each [A] glen,
From [D] mountain and [Bm] valley 'tis [Em] Liberty's [A7] rally -
[D] Out and make [F#m] way for the [G] Bold [A] Fenian [D] Men!
Like the Phoenix grew out of the ashes, The Fenians were a political organisation which grew out of the young Ireland movement. After the failure of the much awaited and talked about rising, it fizzled out in Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary in 1848. It's leaders arrested and transported to Van Diemons land. Those that escaped either went to France or America.
James Stephens was with Smith O Brien to the last but went on the run and eventually escaped. He returned to Ireland in 1856 and set about organising the country for another attempt for freedom. He walked the whole country in many disguises, met the people and organised them locally. He finds the people ready but they don't know what to do. In 1858, he helps in the organisation of the Fenians while across in New York, Michael Doheny and John O'Mahony form a parallel movement called the Fenian brotherhood. In the same year, a newspaper called "The Nation "was launched edited by John O Leary and Charles Kickham, the novelist and ballad writer(Slieve na Mban was a song of his recorded by The Wolfe Tones. The paper did not last long. It was raided in 65 and the team were arrested.
In 1866, the Fenians made a raid on Canada and Stephens postpones the rising in Ireland. Impatient men who had traveled from America and elsewhere grew disillusioned by Stephens, 85,000 men were ready but Stephens postpones the rising again.
In 1867 a ill conceived rising takes place but by now the organisation is infiltrated by informers. A raid on Chester Castle takes place in England and a police station and coastguard station in Ireland. God save Ireland. Stephens arrested and escapes from Richmond jail in Dublin. Breslin was the mastermind behind it, he was also responsible for the Catalpa episode when six Fenians were rescued from Freemantle prison in Australia. The Fenians merge into Michael Davitts land league who's purpose was to stop evictions and change the ownership of land from the landlords to the people.
The movement involved violence and intimidation against landlords who evicted tenants. The campaign against Capt. 'Boycott' gave a new word to the English language when the local people refused to cooperate in any way with him. Parnell became active in the movement and on many occasions he was labeled as a Fenian. Old Fenians like Tom Clarke joined the Irish Republican brotherhood and were out in the rising of 1916, he was e executed as one of the signatories of the proclaimation of that year. The word Fenian became a sectarian term for Catholics, it also would be used as a term for rebels, nonconformists, a radical or troublesome child.
John McGuffin, the Ulster Protestant writer was buried wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, "Unrepentant Fenian Bastard." I feel the same.
Brian Warfield 2010 Info On The Fenians