Recently, in the Irish Free State, an issue has come to light regarding the historical perspective attached to members of the British colonial forces in Ireland during the early 20th century. It is now de rigueur to celebrate the involvements of tens of thousands of Irish “Nationalists” in the First World War, men who fought […]
“As back through the glen I rode again And my heart with me fell sore For I parted then with valiant men Whom I never shall see ‘more But to and fro in my dreams I go And I kneel and pray for you For slavery fled a glorious dead When you fell in the […]
Lovers of Irish folk music, particularly rebel songs, will be familiar with tunes such as The Men Behind The Wire and The Boys Of The Old Brigade. But how many will know who wrote them? It’s a sad fact that too often those who take the time to pen such great ballads are often overlooked. […]
Here’s a rousing Republican ballad to set you up for your day. This well known song was written by a Belfast man by the name of Paddy ‘Paddy Joe’ McGuigan, who was a member of the popular Republican folk group, Barleycorn. Paddy Joe died in 2014. He left behind many fine songs and they form […]
He was 16 when he set off on his own to blow up parts of England. His time in a borstal gave him the materiel for a book. He wrote poetry in both Gaelic and English. He had famous friends across the globe. He stayed in the Chelsea Hotel. He drank himself to death. He was Brendan Behan. This is his poem.
This song, written by Dicky Shannon for the playwright and revolutionary, Brendan Behan, reflects on the experiences of a prisoner who yearns for freedom. It was first performed in 1954 for the opening of Behan’s play, The Quare Fellow. It has been covered by many artists over the years and is heavily referenced in Stephen […]
The Wild Colonial Boy is an Irish-Australian ballad that recounts the exploits of an Irish emigre to Oz (or the son of Irish emigres) who got into all sorts of bother as he resisted the colonial authorities. In the original poem, his name was John (Jack) Donohoe (Donohue), said by some to have been a […]
Tone’s Grave In Bodenstown Churchyard there is a green grave, And wildly along it the winter winds rave; Small shelter, I ween, are the ruined walls there, When the storm sweeps down on the plains of Kildare. Once I lay on that sod-it lies over Wolfe Tone- And thought how he perished in prison alone, […]
In this piece of inspired verse, Thomas Davis calls to all those born on the island of Ireland to stand together as Irish people, in opposition to the yoke of English colonialism. He believed that the Irish identity did not depend on bloodlines but on feelings of the heart. His hope was that those of […]
Ernie O’Malley was an outstanding Irish revolutionary who fought for the Republican cause in both the Tan War and the following Civil War. Rebel Voice is of the opinion that his account of the War for Irish Freedom, titled On Another Man’s Wound, is probably the best account of that heroic conflict. Like all Republicans, […]
Shane MacGowan is one of the greatest song-writers ever… that’s right… ever. The lyrics of this one demonstrate his genius. Never mind Dylan and his Nobel prize, MacGowan deserves one more than anyone (fuck it, give him two).
Ireland has both the good fortune and misfortune to have a large number of martyrs. Many honourable men and women have felt it necessary to step forward to fight the blight of British colonialism. Of those Rebels who were imprisoned, some chose to battle the foreign regime using the only weapon they had left to […]