A New Song on the Manchester Martyrs
of The Smashing of the Van
Attend you gallant Irishmen and listen for a while,
I'll sing to you the praises of the songs of Erin's Isle,
It's of these gallant heroes who voluntarily ran,
To release two Irish Shamrocks, from an English prison van.
Hurrah my lads for freedom, let's all join heart and hand,
May the Lord have mercy on the boys that helped to smash the van.
On the eighteenth of September, it was a dreadful year,
When sorrow and excitement ran throughout all Lancashire,
At a gathering of the Irish boys they volunteered each man,
To release those Irish prisoners out of the prison van.
Kelly and Deasy were their names, I suppose you knew them well,
Remanded for a week they were in Vellvue Gaol to dwell,
When taking of the prisoners back, their trial for to stand,
To make a safe deliverance they conveyed them in a van.
William Deasy was a man of good and noted fame,
Likewise Michael Larkin, we'll never forget his name,
With young Allan and O'Brian they took a part so grand,
In that glorious liberation and the smashing of the van.
In Manchester one morning those heroes did agree,
Their leaders, Kelly and Deasy, should have their liberty,
They dream a health to Ireland, and soon made up the plan,
To meet the prisoners on the road and take and smash the van.
With courage bold those heroes went and soon the van did stop,
They cleared the guards from back and front and then smashed in the top,
But in blowing open of the lock, they chanced to kill a man,
So three men must die on the scaffold high for smashing of the van.
One cold November morning in eighteen sixty-seven,
These martyrs to their country's cause a sacrifice were given,
"God save Ireland," was the cry and all through the crowd it ran,
The Lord have mercy on the boys that helped to smash the van.
So now kind friends I will conclude, I think it would be right,
That all true-hearted Irishmen together should united,
Together should sympathise, my friends, and do the best we can,
To keep the memories ever green, of the boys that smashed the van.