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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Croppy Boy

It was very early in the spring, the birds did whistle and sweetly sing/ Changing their notes from tree to tree, and the song thay sang was old Ireland free.

It was early in the night, the yeoman cavalry gave me a fright; the yeoman cavalry was my downfall, and taken was I by Lord Cornwall.

"Twas in the guard house where I was laid, and in a parlour where I was tried; My sentence passed and my courage low/ When to Dungannon I was forced to go.

As I was passing by my father's door, My brother William stood at the door; My aged father stood at the door / And my tender mother her hair she tore.

As I was walking up Wexford Street, My own first cousin I chanced to meet; My own first cousin did me betray, and for one bare guinea swore my life away.

My sister Mary heard the express, She ran upstairs in her mourning dress- - Five hundred guineas I will lay down, To see my brother through Wexford Town.

As I was walking up Wexford Hill, Who could blame me to cry my fill? I looked behind and I looked before, But my tender mother I shall ne'er see more.

As I was mounted on the platform high, My aged father was standing by; My aged father did me deny, And the name he gave me was the Croppy Boy.

It was in Dungannon this young man died, And in Dungannon his body lies; All you good Christians that do pass by/ Just drop a tear for the Croppy Boy.

This song refers to the Irish Rebellion of 1798, in which Irish rebels wore their hair short, or cropped, in the imitation of the French revolutionaries. A story of betrayal, The Croppy Boy has new relevance.

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