"whether on the scaffold high or on the battlefield I die"

 

Lines taken from "God Save Ireland", an Irish rebel song, written by TD Sullivan in 1867. The song was inspired by Edmund O'Meager Condon's speech from the dock when he stood trial along with the three Manchester Martyrs. After the three were executed, the song became the song of the Fenian movement.

 

High upon the gallows tree, swung the noble-hearted three,

By the vengeful tyrant, stricken in their bloom.

But they met him face to face with the courage of their race,

And they went with souls undaunted to their doom.

 

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.

"God save Ireland," said them all.

"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,

No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

 

Grit around with cruel foes, sure their courage proudly rose,

For they thought of hearts that loved them far and near.

Of the millions true and brave, o'er the ocean's swelling wave,

And the friends in Holy Ireland ever dear!

 

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.

"God save Ireland," said them all.

"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,

No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

 

Climbed they up the rugged stair, rang their voices out in prayer,

Then with England's fatal cord about them cast.

Close beside the gallows tree, kissed like brothers lovingly,

True to home and faith, and freedom to the last!

 

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.

"God save Ireland," said them all.

"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,

No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"

 

Never 'til the latest day shall the memory pass away,

Of those gallant lives thus given for our land.

And on the cause must go, amidst joy and weal and woe,

'Til me make our isle a nation, free and grand!

 

"God save Ireland," said the heroes.

"God save Ireland," said them all.

"Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,

No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!"