Lilliburlero

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Melody - Seq. by Lesley Nelson
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Ho brother Teague,
Dost hear de decree?
Lilli burlero, bullen a la;
Dat we shall have a new deputy,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la.
Chorus:
Lero, lero, lilli burlero,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Lero, lero, lero lero
Lilli burlero, bullen a la.

2. Ho, by my Soul, it is a Talbot;
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
And he will cut all de English throat
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

3. Though, by my soul, de English do prate,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
De law's on dere side and de devil knows what,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

4. But if Depense do come from de Pope
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
We'll hang Magna Carta demselves on a rope
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

5. And de good Talbot is now made a Lord,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
And with his brave lads he's coming aboard,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

6. Who all in France have taken a swear,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Dat day will have no Protestant heir,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

7. O but why does he stay behind?
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Ho, by my soul, 'tis a Protestant wind,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

8. Now that Tyrconnel is come ashore,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
And we shall have comissions galore.
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

9. And he dat will not go to Mass,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Shall be turned out and look like an ass,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

10. Now, now de heretics all will go down,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
By Christ and St. Patrick's the nation's our own,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

11. Dere was an old prophecy found in a bog,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Dat our land would be ruled by an ass and a dog,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:

12. So now dis old prophecy's coming to pass,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
For James is de dog and Tyrconnel's de ass,
Lilli burlero, bullen a la
Chorus:


Emmanuel Kehoe writes:
Lilliburlero is a remarkable song about the political situation at the time of the Battle of the Boyne (1690) when the newly imported William of Orange defeated the Stuart King James. This truly European war ("The Glorious Revolution" as it became known to Protestant England) dragged on for some time, and much of it was fought in series of bitter sieges of Irish cities. It ended with the Treaty of Limerick after which almost the entire Irish army sailed to France where they served French kings in the Irish Brigade until the revolution. They were the original Wild Geese.

The word Lilliburlero may be entirely meaningless but the Irish writer Brendan Behan claimed it was a corruption of the Gaelic: " An lili ba leir e, ba linn an la" - roughly "The lily won the day for us". Today the Loyalists of Northern Ireland wear the orange lily to commemorate the Boyne. (Republicans, not to be outdone) wear a white lily, which they call the Easter lily to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916.

Lilliburlero is the signature tune of the world service of the BBC and so is heard all over the world many times a day.

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