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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This tune was written by J. P. McCall during the second half of the nineteenth century. It was originally known as Youghal Harbor. It is also known as Father Murphy. Boulavogue is a town in Wexford.

During the Irish Uprising of 1798 only the Wexford uprising had some success. This was in part due to the efforts of Father John Murphy. The Wexford rebels were defeated at Vinegar Hill and Father Murphy and the other rebel leaders were hanged.

At Boulavogue as the sun was setting
On the bright May meadows of Shelmaliar,
A rebel hand set the heather blazing
And brought the neighbours from far and near.
Then Father Murphy from old Kilcormack
Spurred up the rocks with a warning cry;
"Arm, arm," he cried, "for I've come to lead you;
For Ireland's freedom we'll fight or die."

He led us on 'gainst the coming soldiers;
The cowardly yeomen we put to flight.
'Twas at the Harra the boys of Wexford
Showed Bookies' regiment how men could fight.
Look out for hirelings, King George of England,
Search ev'ry kingdom that breathes a slave,
For Father Murphy from the county Wexford
Sweeps o'er the land like a mightly wave.

At Vinegar Hill o'er the pleasant Slaney
Our heroes vainly stood back to back,
And the Yoes at Tullow took Father Murphy
And burned his body upon the rack.
God grant you glory, brave Father Murphy,
And open heaven to all your men;
For the cause that called you may call tomorrow
In another fight for the green again.
Related Links
From The Irish Songbook
See Bibliography for full information.
Some information from the Encyclopedia Britannica