The Foggy Dew

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Melody - Seq. by Lesley Nelson
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'Twas down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I.
When Ireland's line of marching men
In squadrons passed me by.
No pipe did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its dread tattoo
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell
Rang out in the foggy dew.

2. Right proudly high over Dublin town
They hung out a flag of war.
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar.
And from the plains of Royal Meath
Strong men came hurrying through;
While Brittania's sons with their long-range guns
Sailed in from the foggy dew.

3. 'Twas England bade our wild geese go
That small nations might be free.
Their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
On the fringe of the grey North Sea.
But had they died by Pearse's side
Or fought with Gathal Bruga,
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep
'Neath the hills of the foggy dew.

4. The bravest fell, and the solemn bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springing of the year.
And the world did gaze in deep amaze
At those fearless men and true
Who bore the fight that freedom's light
Might shine through the foggy dew.

5. Ah, back through the glen I rode again
And my heart with grief was 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'd kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead,
When you fell in the foggy dew.


This is a song about the Easter Uprising of 1916. The British gave young Irish men who were suspected of any kind of criminal activity a simple choice: prison or conscription. This left Ireland with few soldiers with whom to fight the British.

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