Kevin Barry

Words & Music:

Traditional Irish

(melody is an old English Air)


A                                                          D

In Mountjoy jail one Monday morning, high upon the gallows tree,

      E7                                              A

Kevin Barry gave his young life for the cause of liberty.

Only a lad of eighteen summers, still there's no one can deny,

As he walked to death that morning, he proudly held his head on high.


Just before he faced the hangman, in his dreary prison cell,

The Black and Tans tortured Barry, just because he wouldn't tell.

The names of his brave comrades, and other things they wished to know.

"Turn informer and we'll free you."  Kevin Barry answered, "No."


"Shoot me like a soldier.  Do not hang me like a dog,

For I fought to free old Ireland on that still September morn.

All around the little bakery where we fought them hand to hand,

Shoot me like a brave soldier, for I fought for Ireland."


"Kevin Barry, do not leave us, on the scaffold you must die!"

Cried his broken-hearted mother as she bade her son good-bye.

Kevin turned to her in silence saying, "Mother, do not weep,

For it's all for dear old Ireland and it's all for freedom's sake."


Calmly standing to attention while he bade his last farewell

To his broken hearted mother whose grief no one can tell.

For the cause he proudly cherished this sad parting had to be

Then to death walked softly smiling that old Ireland might be free.


Another martyr for old Ireland; another murder for the crown,

Whose brutal laws to crush the Irish, could not keep their spirit down.

Lads like Barry are no cowards.  From the foe they will not fly.

Lads like Barry will free Ireland, for her sake they'll live and die.


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