Breedloves's Folk Songs


“The Rising of the Moon” is a famous Irish ballad written by John Keegan Leo” Casey
(1846-70), the Fenian Poet”. The ballad takes the tune of another Irish ballad, The
Wearing of the Green” and was first published in Casey’s 1866 collection of poems and
songs “A Wreath of Shamrocks”. The lyrics refer to the outbreak of the 1798 rebellion in
county Kildare as United Irish rebels convey the order to rise. The air of hope and
optimism associated with the ultimately doomed rebellion was intended to provide
inspiration for rebels “Who would follow in their footsteps” preparing to take to the field
in another doomed venture, the Fenian rebellion of 1867. Often sung by The Clancy
Brothers and Tommy Makem among others, the song remains popular and the tune
widely recognized in Ireland today as it is often taught in schools, played regularly at
official and sporting events and has been covered by a wide variety of musicians.
Come and tell me Sean O’Farrell tell me why you hurry so
Hush me boy, now hush and listen and his eyes were all aglow
I bear orders from the captain get you ready quick and soon
For the pikes must be together by the rising of the moon
Come now tell me Sean O’Farrell where the gath’rin is to be
At the old spot by the river right well known to you and me
One more word for signal token whistle out the marchin’ tune
With your pike upon your shoulder by the rising of the moon
There beside the singing river that dark mass of men was seen
For above their shining weapons hung their own immortal green
Death to every foe and traitor! Forward strike the marching tune
And hurrah, my boys, for freedom, ’tis the rising of the moon
How well they fought for poor old Ireland
And for bitter was their fate
Oh what glorious pride and sorrow fills the name of ’98
Yes thank god while hearts are beating, each man bears a burning loom
We will follow in their footsteps at the rising of the moon

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