1883 – Birth of Peadar Kearney, an Irish republican and composer of numerous rebel songs in Dublin.

In 1907 he wrote the lyrics to “The Soldier’s Song”; Liam Ó Rinn translated it to the Irish language, “Amhrán na bhFiann” in 1923, now the Irish national anthem. It was used as a marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising. Its popularity increased among rebels held in Frongoch internment camp after the Rising, and the IRA in the Irish War of Independence (1919–21). Kearney was the uncle of Irish writers, Brendan Behan and Dominic Behan.

‘Down by the Glenside/The Bold Fenian Men’
(Peadar Kearney)

‘Twas down by the glenside, I met an old woman
She was picking young nettles and she scarce saw me coming
I listened a while to the song she was humming
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men
‘Tis fifty long years since I saw the moon beaming
On strong manly forms and their eyes with hope gleaming
I see them again, sure, in all my daydreaming
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men.

Some died on the glenside, some died near a stranger
And wise men have told us that their cause was a failure
They fought for old Ireland and they never feared danger
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men
I passed on my way, God be praised that I met her
Be life long or short, sure I’ll never forget her
We may have brave men, but we’ll never have better
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men

Photo: Memorial to Thomas Ashe, Peadar Kearney and Piaras Béaslaí at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, unveiled in 1967

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