The Rising of the Moon

"The Rising of the Moon" is a famous Irish ballad written by John Keegan “Leo” Casey (1846-70), the "Fenian Poet".

Background

The ballad takes the tune of another Irish ballad, "The Wearing of the Green" and was first published in Casey's 1866 collection of poems and songs “"A Wreath of Shamrocks". The lyrics refer to the outbreak of the 1798 rebellion in county Kildare as United Irish rebels convey the order to rise. The air of hope and optimism associated with the ultimately doomed rebellion was intended to provide inspiration for rebels "Who would follow in their footsteps" preparing to take to the field in another doomed venture, the Fenian rebellion of 1867.

Often sung by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem among others, the song remains popular and the tune widely recognised in Ireland today as it is often taught in schools, played regularly at official and sporting events and has been covered by a wide variety of musicians. The song is also referenced in the final line of the final entry of Bobby Sands hunger strike diary.

Lyrics

O then, tell me Sean O'Farrell, tell me why you hurry so?
"Hush a bhuachaill [ "Gaelic for Lad or Boy" ] , hush and listen", and his cheeks were all aglow,
"I bear orders from the captain:- get you ready quick and soon
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon"
By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon,For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon

"O then tell me Sean O'Farrell where the gath'rin is to be?"
"In the old spot by the river, right well known to you and me.
One more word for signal token:- whistle up a marchin' tune,
With your pike upon your shoulder, by the rising of the moon."
By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon
With your pike upon your shoulder, by the rising of the moon.

Out from many a mud wall cabin eyes were watching through the night,
Many a manly heart was beatin, for the coming morning light.
Murmurs ran along the valleys to the banshee's lonely croon
And a thousand pikes were flashing at the rising of the moon.
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon.
And a thousand pikes were flashing at the rising of the moon.

At the rising of the moon...


All along that singing river that black mass of men were seen,
High above their shining weapons flew their own beloved green.
"Death to every foe and traitor! Forward! Strike the marching tune."
And hurrah my boys for freedom; 'tis the rising of the moon".
Tis the rising of the moon, tis the rising of the moon
And hurrah my boy for freedom; 'Tis the rising of the moon".


Well they fought for poor old Ireland, and full bitter was their fate,
Oh what glorious pride and sorrow, fills the name of ninety-eight!
Yet, thank God, e'en still are beating hearts in manhood burning noon,
Who would follow in their footsteps, at the risin' of the moon
By the rising of the moon, By the rising of the moon
Who would follow in their footsteps, at the risin' of the moon.



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