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|Thomas Moore wrote these words in 1811 to an old Irish air Crooghan A Venee. The Regent (later George IV) had been Moore's patron. Moore felt that while he was Regent, George supported Catholic emancipation, however, upon ascending the throne, George IV did not act. Although the song is based on the betrayal of Deirdre and the sons of Usna by Conchubar, the King of Ulster, Moore was clearly criticizing George IV.
For a complete list of tunes by Thomas Moore at this site see the Contemplator's Short Biography of Thomas Moore.
Avenging and bright fall the swift sword of Erin,|
On him who the brave sons of Usna betray'd!
For ev'ry fond eye he hath waken'd a tear in,
A drop from his heart-wounds shall weep o'er her blade!
By the red cloud that hung over Conner's dark dwelling,
When Ulad's three champions lay sleeping in gore
By the billows of war, which so often, high swelling,
Have wafted these heroes to victory's shore.
We swear to revenge them! no joy shall be tasted,
The harp shall be silent, the maiden unwed,
Our halls shall be mute and our fields shall lie wasted,
'Till vengeance is wreak'd on the murderer's head!
Yes, monarch! tho' sweet are our home recollections,
'Tho sweet are the tears that from tenderness fall;
Tho' sweet are our friendships, our hopes, our affections,
Revenge on a tyrant is sweetest of all!
Songs of Ireland
J. L. Hatton and J. L. Molloy
See Bibliography for full information.