Mudcat Café message #183095 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18412   Message #183095
Posted By: Bob Bolton
22-Feb-00 - 09:57 PM
Thread Name: Questions re: Come Out Black & Tans?
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SMASHING OF THE VAN ^^
G'day all,

I looked up The Smashing of the Van in Paddy Galvin and I have the words and tune - plus some background on the event.

In 1863 the Fenian journal, the Irish People, appeared in Dublin; it was edited by Luby and O'Leary, with the help of Kickham and O'Donovan Rossa. The violent denunciations with which it was greeted served only to increase its popularity. In 1865 the ending of the American Civil War demobilized 200,000 Irish-American Fenians. The Irish People was raided and its leaders were arrested. Stephens escaped (with the help of Fenian warders); Devoy urged immediate insurrection, but Stephens and the Americans insisted on delay. The arrested leaders were brought to trial before Keogh, who inflicted savage sentences of twenty years on Luby, O'Leary and Kickham and of life on Rossa. Devoy was arrested and Stephens proved ineffective in leadership. In America the movement split and split again as a result of inconclusive delays.

In 1867 a rising was planned, at first for February, then for March; Kerry and the North of England were not informed of the change of date, rose too soon and thus gave warning to the authorities. In addition, the March 'rising' coincided with an exceptionally violent blizzard. There was practically no fighting. The Fenian military leaders, Kelley and Deasy, were arrested in Manchester. but daringly rescued, a policeman being killed. The rescuers, Allen. Larkin and O'Brien, were hanged, and are known to history as the Manchester Martyrs. (Ernest Jones, the Chartist, as defence counsel, threw down his brief in protest at the court's refusal to remove the prisoners' handcuffs in the dock.) The celebrated song God Save Ireland. written in their honour, was for fifty years Ireland's unofficial national anthem.

The Smashing of the Van

Attend you gallant Irishmen and listen for a while
I'll sing to you the praises of the sons of Erin's Isle
It's of those gallant heroes who voluntarily ran
To release two Irish Fenians from an English prison van.

On the eighteenth of September, it was a dreadful year,
When sorrow and excitement ran throughout all Lancashire,
At a gathering of the Irish boys they volunteered each man,
To release those Irish prisoners out of the prison van.

Kelly and Deasy were their names, 1 suppose you knew them well,
Remanded for a week they were in Bellevue Gaol to dwell,
When taking of the prisoners back, their trial for to stand,
To make a safe deliverance they conveyed them in a van.

William Deasy was a man of good and noted fame,
Likewise Michael Larkin, we'll never forget his name,
With young Allen and O'Brien they took a part so grand,
In that glorious liberation and the smashing of the van.

In Manchester one morning those heroes did agree,
Their leaders, Kelly and Deasy, should have their liberty,
They drank a health to Ireland, and soon made up the plan,
To meet the prisoners on the road and take and smash the van.

With courage bold those heroes went and soon the van did stop,
They cleared the guards from back and front and then smashed in the top,
But in blowing open of the lock, they chanced to kill a man,
So three must die on the scaffold high for smashing of the van.

One cold November morning in eighteen sixty-seven
These martyrs to their country's cause a sacrifice were given,
'God save Ireland,' was the cry, all through the crowd it ran,
The Lord have mercy on the boys that helped to smash the van.

So now kind friends 1 will conclude, I think it would be right
That all true-hearted Irishmen together should unite,
Together should sympathize, my friends, and do the best we can
To keep the memories ever green of the boys that smashed the van.


Something very odd has happened to the MIDItext file and chord list. Along with the scan I just did for the words above ... none of the three files would open in Microsoft Word or Notepad ... the computer claims that all the files are empty!?!

Does Bill Gates have links to MI5 ... ?

I will go apply electronic resuscitation and return shortly if successful. If not, I may be back with the files from my home computer tomorrow ... if they haven't also vanished!


Bob Bolton ^^