Joe McDonnell

March 16, 2007 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

A Saint Patrick’s Day Tribute to a Rebel Song of Ireland
…and a special thanks to the Wild Colonial Bhoys for doing a cover of this, and inspiring me to look into this amazing song!

Title: Joe McDonnell Lyrics by: Brian Warfield

This song is about Joe McDonnell, an Irish Republican Volunteer who died in prison while on hunger strike in 1981, he and his comrades were protesting against the conditions and the fact that the British were trying to force them to wear prison uniform when they were POW’s. The British government wrongly convicted them of being terrorists when in fact, the British government had been terrorizing the Irish since 1167.

O me name is Joe McDonnell from Belfast town I came
That city I will never see again
For in the town of Belfast I spent many happy days
I love that town in oh so many ways
For it’s there I spent my childhood and found for me a wife
I then set out to make for her a life
But all my young ambitions met with bitterness and hate
I found myself inside a prison gate

And you dare to call me a terrorist, while you looked down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you had done
You had plundered many nations divided many lands
You had terrorized our people, ruled with an iron hand.
And you brought this reign of terror to my land

Through those many months internment
In the Maidstone and the Maze
I thought about my land throughout those days
Why my country was divided, why I was now in jail
Imprisoned without crime or without trial
And though I love my country I am not a bitter man
I’ve seen cruelty and injustice at first hand
So then one fateful morning I shook bold freedom’s hand
For right or wrong I’d try to free my land

And you dare to call me a terrorist, while you looked down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you had done, You had plundered many nations divided many lands
You had terrorized their peoples you ruled with an iron hand.
And you brought this reign of terror to my land

Then one cold October morning trapped in a lion’s den
I found myself in prison once again, I was committed to the H-blocks for fourteen years or more
On the Blanket the conditions they were poor
Then a hunger strike we did commence for the dignity of man
But it seemed to me that no one gave a damn
But now, I am a sad man I’ve watched my comrades die
If only people cared or wondered why

And you dare to call me a terrorist, while you looked down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you had done
You had plundered many nations divided many lands
You had terrorized their peoples you ruled with an iron hand.
And you brought this reign of terror to my land

May God shine on you Bobby Sands, for the courage you have shown
May your glory and your name be widely known
And young Francis Hughes and Ray McCreesh who died unselfishly
And Patsy O’Hara and the next in line is me
And those who lie behind me may you’re courage be the same
And I pray to God my life is not in vain, Oh but sad and bitter was the year of 1981, For everything I’ve lost and nothing’s won.

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Song lyric of the week…

"I bring you pain, the kind you can’t suffer quietly/Fire up your brain remind you inside you’re rioting/Society is slipping, everythings slipping away"
- Slipping from Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog

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