The Great O'Neill
(Lyrics and music by Martin O'Malley)
In days long ago when the spirit of a nation
filled our borders from the sky to the sea.
Lived a man named O’Neill with the eye of an eagle
and the voice like the wind in the trees.
Though schooled by the Gaul in far away England
this noble son they thought their cause would be.
But English wealth and titles for the Earl of Dungannon
could not bribe his Irish dignity.
As time marched on the strength of this chieftain
came to challenge the rule of the pale.
As one by one the people came to recognize
O’Neill as the savior of the gale.
And O’Donnell led the band, of the greatest plans of Ulster
to follow this one man’s destiny.
And they gathered like storm clouds over the ocean
and they burst with the will to be free.
Like flames through the west swept the armies of Ulster
as invader fell before O’Donnell’s sword.
With O’Neill from the north they met at black water
in a place that’s known as Yellow Fjord.
And the raid against the gales
were the finest tropes from Europe
brass cannon, musket , plume and Tudor gold.
But gallows glass and burn cut them down with Celtic fury
for the victory that the prophet had foretold.
Now, Ireland’s is a history of temporary victories
and so it was for you in this day.
Spanish hailed across the water
drew the Irish to their slaughter
at Quinsal on a morning dark and grey.
But to those who would say that such struggle was folly
that Irish ways and laws weren’t meant to be
remember that one man backed his dreams up with action
and for nine bloody years kept Ireland free.
And for nine bloody years kept Ireland free.
® Martin O'Malley