"The Minstrel Boy"

("The Minstrel Boy" performed by John McCormack)

"The Minstrel Boy" by Thomas Moore is a patriotic song set to the melody of the Moreen, an old Irish air. Moore is widely thought to have written the song in remembrance of friends killed during the Irish Rebellion of 1798:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone

In the ranks of death you will find him;

His father's sword he hath girded on,

And his wild harp slung behind him;

"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,

"Tho' all the world betrays thee,

One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,

One faithful harp shall praise thee!

 

"The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain

Could not bring that proud soul under;

The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,

For he tore its chords asunder;

And said "No chains shall sully thee,

Thou soul of love and brav'ry!

Thy songs were made for the pure and free,

They shall never sound in slavery!"