Bold Fenian Men lyrics

The Clancy Brothers

It was down by the glenside, I met an old woman
A-picking young nettles, and she ne’er saw me coming
I listened a while to the song she was humming
Glory-O, Glory-O, to the bold Fenian men

It's fifty long years since I saw the moon beamin'
On strong manly forms, and eyes with hope gleaming
I see them again, in all my sad dreaming
Glory-O, Glory-O, to the bold Fenian men.

When I was a young girl, their marchin' and drilling'
Awoke in the glenside sounds awesome and thrillin'
They loved dear old Ireland, and to die they were willing
Glory-O, Glory-O, to the bold Fenian men.

Some died by the glenside, some died near a stranger
And wise men have told us their cause was a failure
They loved dear old Ireland, they never feared danger
Glory-O, Glory-O, to the bold Fenian men

I went on my way, God be praised that I met her
Be life long or short, sure I'll never forget her
We may have good men, but we'll never have better
Glory-O, Glory-O, to the bold Fenian men

Song Details

Bold Fenian Men Logo

Writer: Peadar Kearney

Brief: Bold Fenian Men is also called Down by the Glenside. The song was penned by Peadar Kearney, a republican who composed many other Irish rebel songs, most notably, The Soldier Song - the chorus of which is the Irish National Anthem.

Bold Fenian Men is a traditional Irish folk song with deep historical and cultural significance. The song is associated with the Fenian movement, which was a nationalist and republican movement in Ireland during the 19th century, seeking independence from British rule.

The Fenian movement, also known as the Fenian Brotherhood or Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), aimed to establish an independent Irish republic free from British rule. The term "Fenian" is derived from the Irish word "Fianna," referring to ancient Irish warrior bands.

The lyrics of the song reflect the spirit of resistance and patriotism. The song often celebrates the bravery and determination of those who fought for Irish independence. The lyrics may vary slightly in different versions of the song.

The song is a reminder of the struggles and sacrifices made by Irish nationalists in their quest for independence. It pays tribute to those who took part in the various uprisings and movements for Irish self-determination.

The song was written about the 1916 Easter Rebellion. It was an attempt by the republicans to stop the British rule in Ireland. The rising was unsussessful due to greater British numbers and lead to the execution of the rebel leaders.

The Fenian movement played a significant role in the lead-up to the Easter Rising of 1916 and subsequent events that led to the establishment of the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) in 1922.

It will always be a favourite amongst the Republican movement as it stirs memories of the 1916 uprising and the history of the struggle against the British.

Category: Irish Rebel Song

Covers by Celtic Artists: The song was first recorded in 1955 by Richard Dyer-Bennet and then again in the 1960’s by The Clancy Brothers re-kindling the popularity of the song. Other artists include The Dubliners, Judy Collins, The Wolfe Tones, Luke Kelly, Omnia, Kellee Bradley, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and several others.

Album: Wrap The Green Flag: Favorites Of The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem (February 1, 1994).

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