The Songs

  1. From Kells to Gerringong
  2. The Ballad of Johnny Golden
  3. The Fenians of Cahersiveen
  4. The Bold Fenian Men

From Kells to Gerringong

A new song for 2017, composed and performed by Glenn McDonald and Anne Golden.
Lyrics (PDF) NEW! Download here.

Well I’ll tell you a story about a brave Fenian man,
Young Johnny Golden from down near Kells Strand,
He rose in arms with the Boys of Filemore,
To soon be imprisoned on a far distant shore.

The rebellion was set and Kells they did raid,
No Dingle fires burning, a campaign in vain,
Our Golden haired Fenian did his best to evade,
When captured in Cobh, charge of treason was laid.

His ma walked on pregnant with her 10th child,
60 miles to Tralee to see her first born stand trial,
Guilty as charged, five years he received,
Never more he’d see Kerry as a man who was free.

For the Port of Fremantle, the Hougoumont set sail,
Where 62 Fenians were thrown in the gaol,
A pardon was granted and Golden was free,
Arrived to meet Ellen and find love in Sydney.

Twas a short life of freedom in this new found land,
Having had seven children, John fell to God’s hands,
But connections were made and they continue to grow,
And we sing of young Golden so the young folk will know.

From Kells to Fremantle and Gerringong to Kells
The story of Golden, we’ll continue to tell.
A story of loss and of love and of lore
The Goldens spread forth on a far distant shore.

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The Ballad of Johnny Golden

Composed By Sigerson Clifford in 1967. Courtesy of Tim Dennehy, from the Album ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’ .  Lyrics (PDF)
Contact: Tim Dennehy, Ennis Road, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare.
Mobile: 087 3148158

Let Kerry’s sons remember well the men who marched alone
As they tramped the hills and mountains to bring Caitlín her throne.
It was in 1867 when O’Connor did command
And by his side the man who died out in Van Diemen’s land.

First at Kells Station they drew rein to face Coastguard Dingwall
And to take from him his rifle, his powder and his ball.
He said, “This is a bad nightís work for any rebel band
And you’ll all face transportation unto Van Diemen’s land”.

They said, “We do not fight alone for Ireland is aflame
And men are marching on the hills to spoil a Saxon game.
Like Mitchell and like Smith O’Brien we’ll fight and take our stand
And if we fail we’ll risk the jail or face Van Diemen’s land”.

At Drung Hill then beside the bridge they shot a policeman down
And searching in his pockets found a letter to the Crown.
O’Connor read and grimly said, “We can’t fight now as planned
And may God keep us in his care far from Van Diemen’s land”.

And Talbot, Massy, Corydon where are you all today?
Your hearts you sold for English gold and you swore their lives away.
In Tralee town the judge looked down upon that rebel band
And he sentenced Johnny Golden to far Van Diemen’s land.

O’Reilly, Griffin, Donovan, O’Connell and O’Shea,
Conway, Sheehan and O’Brien their names are strong today.
They’re masters in their own house now; they plough and till the land
But brave young Johnny Golden lies in Van Diemen’s Land.

For he sleeps today where lonely waves wash over Australia’s shore
And never again he’ll see the glen of lovely sweet Foilmore.
But Foilmore’s sons remember well that gallant Fenian band
And forget not Johnny Golden out in Van Diemen’s land.

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The Fenians of Cahersiveen

Performed by The Johnstons. Lyrics (PDF) Song (M4A)

I am a bold Fenian from Cahersiveen,
that late took my gun for to fight for the green;
o’er mountains and woodlands I wandered along
now I leave it alone and commence up my song.

We marched to Kells station that lies near the strand
where the sea rushes in with wild waves to the land;
and then you may say we had courage go leor
when Kells station was taken by the boys of Filemore.

We were proud of our country, and our heroes so brave,
and we spurned the false counsel that’s given by the slave,
who would sell his own country for comfort and gold,
who would spy on his brothers the Fenians so bold.

But the warm hand of friendship forever is seen
in the soldiers of Ireland, who fight for the green,
who scorn, ‘fore the tyrants their heads to bend low,
who strike dumb with terror the false Saxon foe.

We spurned all their jails, and their turnkeys as well,
as to turncoat informers, we’d sure give them hell,
for we feared neither jail not the scaffold on high,
and we’d sworn for ould Ireland to conquer or die;

as to buckshot and powder, we’d plenty in store,
and in deep, secret places, munitions go leor,
there were no men more feared by the troops of the Queen,
then the bold hearted Fenians of Cahersiveen.

We were loved by young women, both buxom and strong,
in their red-flannel petticoats singing a song,
in their shawls and their bodices neatly arrayed,
with their beautiful forms so correctly displayed,

who would stir any man to great exploits of fame,
to win for Ould Ireland a true honoured name,
to fight for their honour before any Queen,
like the true-hearted Fenians of Cahersiveen.

We marched all along and our guns we did load
we then met a policeman, on horse-back he rode
we asked him to surrender but the answer was ‘No’,
and a ball from young Conway soon levelled him low,

Away we marched on and our guns did reload
we met Father Meegan and for him low we bowed,
he gave us his blessing saying ‘God be your friend
in the battle of Freedom on which you are bent.’

Come shoulder your arms, come march and obey,
but alas! We were beaten all on the next day
our plans were found out by some dirty old spy
and on Captain Moriarty they did cast an eye.

Moriarty came in on the mail car next day
to lead all our brave boys to join in the fray,
to our greatest surprise he was marched into jail,
which left us in sorrow our loss to bewail.

‘Gainst their grape shot and cannon we fought to the last,
‘spite their bayonets and red coats we stuck to our mast,
tho’ the peelers may march with their battering ram,
for their batons and law, sure we don’t give a damn!

And their bailiffs may come, hedged around by cold steel,
but one charge from our boys would make traitor heads reel,
for the cleanest of fighters that ever were seen,
were the true-hearted Fenians of Cahersiveen.

Then it’s off thro’ the mountains we all took our course,
our stomachs being slack and we had but bad clothes,
we were in a number about sixty strong,
surrounded by red coats for something went wrong,

then hurrah for the Fenians of Cahersiveen,
no bolder nor braver in Erin was seen;
no soldiers more true to the banner of green
than the true-hearted Fenians of Cahersiveen.

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Down by the Glenside (The Bold Fenian Men)

Composed by Peadar Kearney   Lyrics (PDF)

‘Twas down by the glenside, I met an old woman
A-plucking young nettles, she ne’er 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, on eyes with hope gleaming
I see them again, sure, in all my sad dreaming
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men.

When I was a young girl, their marching and drilling
Awoke in the glenside sounds awesome and thrilling
They loved dear old Ireland, to die they were willing
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men.

Some died by the glenside, some died near a stranger
And wise men have told us their cause was a failure
But they fought for old Ireland and 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

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