Follow Me up to Carlow

"Follow Me Up to Carlow" is an Irish folk song celebrating the defeat of 3,000 English soldiers by Fiach (Feach) McHugh O'Byrne at the Battle of Glenmalure, during the Second Desmond Rebellion in 1580. It was written by Patrick Joseph McCall (1861–1919) and traditionally arranged by Richie Kavanagh. It is notable as one of the most graphically violent of all Irish folk songs, containing lines such as "From Tassagart to Clonmore, there flows a stream of Saxon gore... " and " for Black FitzWilliam's head, we'll send it over dripping red, to Queen Liza and her ladies." It has been performed by numerous Irish folk bands, notably Planxty on their debut album, which is often recognised as the definitive recording. The song has also been performed by the Young Dubliners, a Celtic rock band, who have adapted it into a very upbeat modern version. The air is reputed to have first been performed by the pipers of Feagh MacHugh in 1580.


Lift MacCahir Óg your face, brooding o'er the old disgrace
That black FitzWilliam stormed your place, drove you to the Fern
Grey said victory was sure - Soon the firebrand he'd secure
Until he met at Glenmalure with Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne.

Curse and swear Lord Kildare
Fiach will do what Fiach will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star low
Up with halberd out with sword
On we'll go for by the lord
Feach MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow!

See the swords of Glen Imall, flashing o'er the English Pale
See all the children of the Gael, beneath O'Byrne's banners
Rooster of a fighting stock, would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock- fly up and teach him manners.

From Tassagart to Clonmore, there flows a stream of Saxon gore
Och, great is Rory Óg O'More, sending the loons to Hades.
White is sick and Lane is fled, now for black FitzWilliam's head
We'll send it over, dripping red, to Queen Liza and the ladies.

External links - video the song being performed in 1992.

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