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A Ballad of Mitchel

(Air: John Mitchel)

I am a true-born Irishman, John Mitchel is my name
For what you are or yet may be I freely take the blame
In the dock at Green Street Court I make an oath for you
And Irishmen this hundred years have made my word come true.

The men who rose in '67 were routed in the snow
But whether late or early what matters is the blow
There were men of my company who rose in '48
And though they'd little glory then no blow can come too late.

A gun boat in the Liffy woke me fifty years ago
And again I saw young poets seek an Empire's overthrow
Oh words can work a wonder, but blood cries out to blood
And being dead their living words were easy understood.

I would have lived in Ireland if Ireland had been free
A Prosperous Newry lawyer with property in fee
But what you are demanded more and I went bound in chains
Remember Johnny Mitchell now, when all you seek in gained.

Donagh MacDonagh

[Niall MacDonagh: This song was written, I think, sometime around 1945-47 and was published in the Irish Press at the time. I suspect my father forgot that he ever wrote it, and it is only by chance that I found it in his scrapbook.]