Broad Black Brimmer lyrics

The Wolfe Tones

There's a uniform that's hanging in what's known as father's room
A uniform so simple in its style
It's got no braid of gold or silk no hat with feathered plume
Yet me mother has preserved it all the while
One day she made me try it on, a wish of mine for years
"In memory of your father, dear" she said
And when I put the Sam Browne on she was smiling through her tears
As she placed the broad black brimmer on me head

It's just a broad black brimmer, ribbons frayed and torn
By the careless whisk of many's a mountain breeze
An old trench coat that's all battle-stained and worn
And breeches almost threadbare at the knees
A Sam Brown belt with the buckle big and strong
A holster that's been empty many's a day (But not for long)
But, when men claim Ireland's freedom the one should choose to lead them
Will wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA

It was the uniform been worn by me father long ago
When he reached me mothers homestead on the run
It was the uniform been worn in that little church below
Now Father Maccy blessed the pair as one
After truce and treaty and the parting of the ways
He wore it when he marched out with the rest (And the best)
And when they bore his body down that rugged heather braes
They placed the broad black brimmer on his breast

It´s just a broad black brimmer, ribbons frayed and torn
By the careless whisk of many's a mountain breeze
An old trench coat that's all battle-stained and worn
And breeches almost threadbare at the knees
A Sam Brown belt with the buckle big and strong
And a holster that's been empty many's a day (But not for long)
But, when men claim Ireland's freedom the one should choose to lead them
And wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA

There's a uniform that's hanging in what's known as father's room
A uniform so simple in its style
It's got no braid of gold or silk no hat with feathered plume
Yet me mother has preserved it all the while
One day she made me try it on, a wish of mine for years
"In memory of your father, dear" she said
And when I put the Sam Browne on she was smiling through her tears
As she placed the broad black brimmer on my head

It´s just a broad black brimmer, ribbons frayed and torn
By the careless whisk of many's a mountain breeze
An old trench coat that´s all battle-stained and worn
And breeches almost threadbare at the knees
A Sam Brown belt with the buckle big and strong
A holster that's been empty many's a day (But not for long)
But, when men claim Ireland's freedom the one should choose to lead them
And wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA

Song Details

Writer: Noel Nagle from The Wolfe Tones

Brief: The story about a boy who had lost his father before he was born while fighting for the IRA in their bid for Independence from British Rule. One day, the boy's mother asks her son to try on his fathers uniform which he had wanted to do for many years, and proceeds to tell his fathers story.

During the 1920s Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War, the IRA members wore broad brimmed hats, along with Sam Browne belts, britches, trench coats and holsters which were pieces of equipment worn by members during that time.

References:
IRA - Irish Republican Army
brimmer - hat
breeches - knee-length trousers, often with buckles or decoration at the bottoms / trousers
britches - variant spelling of breeches

Category: Irish Rebel Song

Other Recording Artists: The Davitts, Shilelagh Law, The Barleycorn, Terry O'Neill, Brier, Patsy Watchorn, Fenian Folk, Derek Warfield, Rógairí...

Logo The Broad Black Brimmer by The Wolfe Tones is featured on the album 25th Anniversary (July 26, 2013).

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