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GUEST,Lighter 'Garryowen' as a dog whistle (12) RE: 'Garryowen' as a dog whistle 09 Jul 20


As I wrote a few years back:


The "Garryowen" song in "They Died with their Boots On" combines some of the earlier lyrics with (mostly) an abridged version of the Irish nationalist call to arms written by the Irish poet Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830-1882).


Joyce's complete text, from Richard Nagle's "Popular Poets and Poetry of Ireland" (1887):

They say a dead man tells no tales,
That silence o'er his tomb prevails,
However blow blind Fortune's gales,
In peace or battle gory;

But we can give that phrase the lie,
For dead men's voices fill the sky,
And float from Limerick's towers on high,
O'er Garryowen and glory!

O mighty dead! O unforgot!
O heroes of the glorious lot!
Your deeds they sanctify each spot,
Your names each legend hoary!

From charnel crypts of mouldered bones,
From fosses, walls, and graven stones,
Your voices sound in thunder tones,
O'er Garryowen in glory!

Thy name, great names, great battles won,
Great deeds by Irish heroes done,
They cry, "Unite! Be one! Be one!"
From ancient graves and gory.

They bid us, brothers, all prepare
For th' hour when we can do and dare,
When Freedom's shout shall rend the air,
O'er Garryowen in glory!

And we can dare, and we can do,
United men and brothers true,
Their gallant footsteps to pursue,
And change our country's story;

To emulate their high renown,
To strike our false oppressors down,
And stir the old triumphant town,
With Garryowen in glory!

And when that mighty day comes round,
We still shall hear their voices sound,
Our tramp shall roll along the ground,
And shake the mountains hoary.

We'll raise the Sunburst as of yore,
And Limerick's streets and Shannon's shore
Shall echo to our shout once more,
Of Garryowen in glory!


The following words are sung early in the film. They differ slightly from those of the original 18th century song:

Instead of water we'll drink ale,
And pay no reckoning on the nail,
No man for debt shall go to jail,
From Garryowen in glory! Hail!

Then follows the usual chorus of "Our hearts so stout have got us fame, etc." again with an added "Hail!" The "Hails" disappear in the later scenes.


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