Sunday, February 17, 2008
Down by the Glenside (The Bold Fenian Men) is an Irish rebel song written by Peadar Kearney, an Irish Republican and composer of numerous rebel songs, including The Soldier's Song (Amhrán na bhFiann), now the Irish National Anthem.
Kearney was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, popularly known as the Fenians. He wrote the song about the time of the 1916 Rising. It evokes the memory of the freedom-fighters of the previous generation (strong, manly forms...eyes with hope gleaming) as recalled by Ireland personified as an old woman down by the glenside. It is effectively a call to arms for a generation of Irishmen accustomed to political nationalism.
The song made me cry.
Cead Mile Failte, A Hundred Thousand Welcomes