Lift, MacCahir Oge, your face,
Brooding o'er the old disgrace,
That black FitzWilliam stormed your place,
And 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 halbert! Out with sword!
On we'll go for, by the Lord,
Fiach MacHugh has given the word:
Follow me up to Carlow!
See the swords at Glen Imayle,
Flashin' 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.
Oh, great is Rory Oge O'More,
At sending the loons to Hades.
White is sick and Grey is fled,
Now for black FitzWilliam's head!
We'll send it over, dripping red,
To Queen Liza and her ladies.
I first heard this song on Planxty's “Black Album” (Planxty, 1972). In 1580, the Irish chieftain Fiacha Ó Bróin (anglicized as Fiach, or Feagh, O'Byrne) inflicted a significant defeat upon the English forces under Lord Grey de Wilton.
I accompany myself on the bouzouki, capoing it at the second fret, and playing in D Minor instead of written E Minor.