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Sligo Champion 14 February 1914

Draw nigh you sons of Erin,
The bold, the free, the daring,
       And listen to my story, everyone;
The news your heart will brighten,
The enemy ‘twill frighten,
So drink with me a cruiskeen lan, lan, lan,
So drink with me a cruiskeen lan.

For years I’ve been a wandering,
And all that time a pondering,
       On Erin’s trials-sore and long;
And during all those long years,
I’ve seen her bitter salt tears
Fall, and fill the cruiskeen lan, lan, lan,
Fall, and fill the cruiskeen lan.

But now, thank God, that’s changing,
Her gallant sons are ranging,
       As brave Volunteers, one by one;
Their rifles bright are glancing,
In the sun’s light gaily dancing,
So toast them in a cruiskeen lan, lan, lan,
So toast them in a cruiskeen lan.

And those who would us banish,
Before our charge will vanish,
       Like dew drops before the sun’s bright dawn;
And in that grand assault boys,
Old Sligo’s sons will lead boys,
       To that charge then, a cruiskeen lan, lan, lan,
       To that charge then, a cruiskeen lan.
Olfamuid an cruiskeen
Slainte geal mavourneen
From Antrim to Cape Clear, a cruiskeen lan.

                            BRIAN O’BREASAIL.

    Sligo Champion 29 August 1914

  Words by the Rev. P. J. O’Loughlin
             (Air–O’Donnell Abu.)

Hark! Boys Hark! The bugle call is sounding,
     Sounding through Erin from Shannon to Sea,
Thrilling thousands in serried ranks marching
     Shoulder to shoulder from Foyle to the Lee.
Lift up your arms then, Strike for a Nation men,
     On for the goal of Irish Liberty;
Who shall oppose us, Threaten or Force us,
     Shoulder to shoulder, Our Land shall be Free.

Not for the past, tho’ reddened and gory,
     Springs hatred or anger to darken our way.
But love of our native land, Rising a nation grand,
     Knowing no distinction, friendship we pray:
Class and creed uniting, Dawn breaking bright in
     The sunburst of Freedom o’er Banba today.
Who shall oppose us, Threaten or Force us,
     Shoulder to shoulder, Our Land shall be Free.

Oft in the past in the dark night of Erin
     Dissention, grim spectre! the cause saw decay.
Coward and traitor faltered and hate her,
     Sold her like Judas for greed or for gold.
Lift up your arms then, Volunteer Irishmen,
     March for the goal of Irish liberty.
Who shall oppose us, Threaten or force us,
     Shoulder to shoulder, Our Land shall be Free.

Spirit of Emmet, Wolf Tone and Davis
     Hope of O’Neill and O’Donnell-Red Hugh,
Faith of our martyred patriots, sages,
     The flag of a nation shall float in the blue.
Sky of Heaven, raise up the banner then,
     Rifle and bayonet men, faithful and true.
Who shall oppose us, threaten or force us,
     Shoulder to shoulder, Our Land shall be Free.

Blest be the day that saw the sun rising,
     And Volunteers arming again for the fray,
Spirit of Grattan and Charlemont prising,
     Their pitfall avoiding, disarm like they;
Never shall we, their history repeating
     Lay down our rifles, tho’ triumph we see.
Who shall oppose us, Threaten or Force us,
     Shoulder to shoulder, Our Land shall be free.

Here’s to the Ulsterman, Volunteer Ulsterman,
     Who shouldered his rifle and pointed the way.
Here’s to the Munsterman, Leinster, or Connaught man,
     Marching in thousands to join us today.
Orange and green unite! Strike for a common right,
     Ireland a nation shall spring forth to-day.
Who shall oppose us, Threaten or Force us,
     Our–Orange and Green–flag, Hip, hip, hurrah!

                             Ballinasloe, August 1, 1914.

 Sligo Champion 10 October 1914

’Tis thirty years and more, young men
     Since we began the fight,
’Gainst landlords, with our voice and pen
     We whacked them left and right;
’Twas Davitt true, McCarthy too,
     With Parnell led the fray,
And when they died, the nation cried,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

Hurrah! Hurro! Hurrah!
     ’Tis he who won the day.
Good old Redmond, dear old Redmond,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

Great sacrifices he did make
     While fighting for the cause,
He made the House of Commons shake
     Till it repealed the laws;
Land Acts he got, the poor man’s cot
     Spread o’er the lands today,
His bills galore, should make us roar,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

He saw the slave, he saw the knave
     Smile on us with distain,
Still as each bill passed through the mill
     They were the first to gain;
Still on he fought, until he taught
     Those cowards for to say,
Please do forgive, long may you live,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

Full many hundred miles we trod,
     Through cold, through blazing sun,
Through village, mountain, glen with God
     To guide us on the run;
Some of us met with early graves,
     Some more in prison lay,
They’d take no bail, but dies in jail,
     For Redmond, boys, hurrah!

God bless out friends in foreign lands
     Who financed the campaign ,
With them we’ll soon be grasping hands,
     Their coming home again;
From off the ships from thousand lips
     We’ll hear those exiles say,
Fight on, fight on, with Redmond, John,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

God save a soul, on the death roll,
     Of one we all well knew,
The soul of a true patriot,
     The immortal great McHugh;
I think I hear him speaking now,
     I think I hear him say,
Fight on, fight on, with Redmond, John,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

We Volunteers with guns and spears
     Will this dear nation guard,
And if our foes attempt strong blows,
     ’Tis then we’ll fight them hard;
We owe no hate to king or state,
     Or any creed today,
Then join our troops with loud war whoops
     For Redmond, boys, hurrah!

He wants no cranks, inside his ranks,
     For unity is strength,
This is no time for bickering,
     This move has gone its length;
O’er decades three for liberty,
     He worked both night and day,
Our hearts would break, if we’d forsake,
     John Redmond, boys, hurrah!

Where is the landlord once so bold,
     His process-server too,
Land agent, bailiff, sheriff cold,
     Who our forefathers slew;
A dreadful blight fell on them all,
     Then Old Nick mixed a spray,
With brimstone strong, they won’t live long
     Said Redmond, boys, hurrah!

Good health to you for many years,
     Great statesman, prudent John,
For wiping off our little tears,
     On you a crown we’ll don;
That when you die, St. Patrick high,
     Will crown you too, and say,
Come here and rest, forever blest,
     John Redmond, come this way.

Breffini Cottage,
5 th October, 1914.

These three poems/songs deal with the political siuation at different times in 1914. The first is a call to celebration at the approach of Home Rule especially since the formation of the Volunteers will ensure the billis passed. The author's name may be a pen name, I have found no-one in the 1911 census with that name or any approximation. Cruiskeen lan is the Irish for a full glass and also for a toast. Olfamuid an cruiskeen means we will drink a toast. Slainte geal mavourneen means Good health my dear.

The March of the Volunteers, to the air of one of the best-known Irish marches, was written on 1 August just before the outbreak of war and appears to have no reference to a wider conflict. The decision to publish it in the 29 August issue means that it must have been impossible to read it without considering that it might be a call to enlist in the greater fight.

The third poem written after the initial excitement of the outbreak of war and Redmond's offers of help is an attempt to support the Irish Party leader by recounting all that has been won by the party and by Redmond beginning with the land war and the Land Acts. It mentions famous Irish Party activists, Michael Davitt, Justin McCarthy and the local luminary, P.A. McHugh. It is based on another well-known Irish song Ireland Boys Hurray, the one that begins "
Deep in Canadian woods we've met" and has a chorus: "Ireland boys, hurrah! Ireland boys, hurrah! We'll toast old Ireland, dear old Ireland, Ireland boys, hurrah!

The author, Patrick J O'Loughlin, a Catholic priest, was a native of  County Laois and was twenty five yers of age in the 1911 census.

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