Sunday, December 22, 2013
"The Patriot Game" - Fergal O'Hanlon
The Patriot Game
By Dominic Behan
Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.
My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just turned sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England's to blame,
So now I am part of the patriot game.
This Ireland of ours has too long been half free.
Six counties lie under John Bull's tyranny.
But still De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the Patriot game.
They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair,
His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game.
It's nearly two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same
To play out my part in the patriot game.
I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace
And yet at deserters I'm never let aim
The rebels who sold out the patriot game*
And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained in souls
And I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those Quislings who sold out the patriot game.
Dominic Behan himself sings it:
*- This verse almost certainly reflects the personal views of Behan (a working class Dubliner) rather than near-sainted O'Hanlon's. Along with the one about Connolly, and De Valera, it is usually left out. The result is a more anti-war lament, rather than the clearly republican song Dominic intended it to be.