Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As one who is often refered to as an "Irish musician" here in Canada I've always been wanting to write a song about the flag, the Starry Plough. I finally put together the lyrics yesterday. It's a simple song with a simple tune, written much in the tradition like the old rebel standards such as "The Red Flag",but I wanted to make such a statement about the cause of Ireland's working class. I pass on the lyrics to you.
Some may speak with patriot pride
of the Harp without the Crown
Or the day the Orange and Green went up
and the Union Jack came down.
But the rebel flag that I hold dear and sing it's story now
Is the workers' flag of Freedom
that we call the Starry Plough.
In 1913 life was hard in the working slums of Dublin.
The Transport Workers called a strike
at the urging of Jim Larkin.
The bosses called a lock out and
they starved and cut them down.
The workers lost the battle,
but they gained the Starry Plough.
So working women, union men
they formed the Citizen's Army
And found a leader brave and bold
in the man they called James Connolly
Says he "We'll raise this rebel flag
above our Liberty Hall
And march in ranks for Ireland's cause
beneath the Starry Plough."
In 1919 Limerick workers
rose in many numbers.
In Munster, Meath and Kildare too
they rose up from their slumbers.
The powers of the Master class
they did turn upside down
To break the chains of slavery and fly the Starry Plough.
O'Duffy and his gang of thugs
they roamed throughout the nation.
With blueshirts and their jackboots on
the height of nazi fashion.
Frank Ryan and his valiant band
they took a solemn vow
to fight the bloody fascists
and defend the Starry Plough."
The history books are filled with pages
of the rich man's story.
Of kings and queens and generals
and their ill-begotten glory.
But here's to the ones who fought the fight
and rose to Freedom's call -
To the rebel workers and the flag
We call the Starry Plough.
For the cause that never dies,
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