[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] war_poetry
Irish Spring

My great great grandfather was a refugee
From a place called Ireland
He didn't want to leave home, but when you're a slave
Nothing goes how you might have planned
Like most of the island, he had nothing to eat
He survived by going away
But if he hadn't starved, and if he hadn't left
Perhaps he would have lived to see the day
When after centuries of subjugation
Under English queens and kings
Came the movement of the Irish Spring

When things were set in motion around one Easter morning
To move from colony to nation
When through the foggy dew could be seen lines of marching men
Heading towards a country's liberation
Then a century ago, on April 24th
Suddenly, one day the spell was broken
For 6 days and nights, all across the island
The spirit of resistance had spoken
Quickly it was clear – even the deaf could hear
The sounds of two armies battling
And the bullets of the Irish Spring

Buildings lay in ruins when the rebels had surrendered
A battle lost – a war only begun
Chains, once thrown off, don't go back on easily
And soon the British Army was on the run
The Dail convened and declared the Republic
A nation among the others on the Earth
A nation with a people, with a culture and a history
Celebrated from Liverpool to Perth
A nation with a memory
That's in the songs it sings
With the music of the Irish Spring

A revolution left unfinished, you can hear many people say
On the streets of Derry and Belfast
But in all 32 counties you'll hear many people talking
Of the struggles and the martyrs of the past
Of those who dared stand up and teach us through example
What it means sacrifice it all
Of those who demonstrated if they believe that they are free
Only then can they possibly stand tall
Of Connolly and Pearse and all those who gave their lives
That they might hear the bells of freedom ring
With the rising of the Irish Spring

By David Rovics

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