KELLY OF KILLANE

 

What's the news, what's the news oh me bold Shelmalier
With this long barrelled gun from the sea.
Say what wind from the south blows his messenger here
With this song from the dawn for the free.
Goodly news, goodly news, do I bring Youth or Forth
Goodly news shall you hear Bargy man.
For the boys march at morn, from the South to the North
Led be Kelly the Boy from Killane.

'Tell me who is that giant with the gold curling hair
He who rides at the front of your band?
Seven feet is his height with some inches to spare
And he looks like a king in command!'
'Ah, me lads, that's the pride of the bold Shelmaliers
Among our greatest of heroes a man!
Fling your beavers aloft and give three ringing cheers
For John Kelly, the Boy from Killane.'

Enniscorthy's in flames, and old Wexford is won
And tomorrow the Barrow we will cross.
On a hill o'er the town we have planted a gun
That will batter the gateway of Ross.
All the Forth men and Bargy men march o'er the heath
With brave Harvey to lead on the van
But the foremost of all in the grim Gap of Death
Will be Kelly, the Boy from Killane.

But the gold sun of freedom grew darkened at Ross
And it set the Slaney's red waves
And poor Wexford, stript naked, hung high on the cross
And her heart pierced by traitors and slaves!
Glory O! Glory O! to her brave sons who died
For the cause of long down-trodden man!
Glory O! to Mount Leinster's own darling and pride
Dauntless kelly, the Boy from Killane.

Note: written by P.J. McCall, this song deals with events during the 1798 Rebellion. John Kelly, the son of a Killane merchant was hanged after the Battle of New Ross.