1

The Bold Fenian Men

Something for the weekend.  Down by the Glenside (The Bold Fenian Men).   Tomorrow marks the hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin which set in motion the chain of events leading to Irish independence.  Shortly before the Rising this song was written by  Peadar Kearney.  He would go on to fight in the Irish War of Independence.  A personal friend of Michael Collins, after Collins was slain in the Irish Civil War, Kearney sickened of politics.  He resumed his trade as a house painter and died in 1942 in relative obscurity and poverty.

Compare and contrast the above two versions of The Bold Fenian Men.  Although I have long been a fan of the Clancy Brothers, I confess that I prefer the acappella version.  The Sons of the Pioneers did a notable version of the song in the John Wayne movie Rio Grande, anachronistically singing a song in the 1870s that would not be written until 1916.

‘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
My life long or short, sure I’ll never forget her
We may have great men, but we’ll never have better
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men

Share With Friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

One Comment

  1. God bless you, Mac!

    That scene from the “Rio Grande” movie is one of my “go-to’s.” Victor McLaughlin blubbering – priceless. Also, priceless is the horsemen in those classic cavalry movies.

Comments are closed.