Boyne Water


July the first in Old Bridge Town, there was a grievous battle
Where many a man lay on the ground by cannons that did rattle
King James, he pitched his tents between the lines for to retire
But King William threw his bomb-balls in and set them all on fire

Where at they vowed revenge upon King William’s forces
And oft did vehemently cry that they would stop their courses
A bullet from the Irish camp then grazed King William’s arm
They thought his Majesty was slain, yet it did him little harm

Duke Schomberg then, in friendly care, his King would often caution
To shun the spot where bullets hot retained their rapid motion
But William said, he don’t deserve the name of Faith’s Defender
Who would not venture life and limb to make a foe surrender

When we the Boyne began to cross, the enemy descended
But few of our brave men were lost, so stoutly we defended
The Horse it was that first marched o’er, the Foot soon followed after
But brave Duke Schomberg was no more by venturing o’er the water

When valiant Schomberg, he was slain, King William he accosted
His warlike men, for to march on and he would be foremost
Brave boys, he cried, be not dismayed for the loss of one commander
For God shall be our kin this day and I’ll be general under

Then stoutly we the Boyne did cross to give the enemies battle
Our cannon to our foes great cost, like thundering claps did rattle
In majestic mien, our Prince rode o’er, his men soon followed after
With blow and shout, put our foe to the rout, the day we crossed the water

The Protestants of Drogheda have reason to be thankful
That they were not to bondage brought, they being but a handful
First to those who were brought and tried at Millmount after
But brave King William set them free by venturing o’er the water

The cunning French near to Duleek had taken up their quarters
And found themselves on every side surrounded by still water
But in the dead time of the night, they set the fields on fire
And long before the morning’s light, to Dublin did retire

Then said King William to his men after the French departed
I’m glad, said he, that non of ye seem to be faint-hearted
So sheath your swords and rest awhile, in time we’ll follow after
These words he uttered with a smile the day he crossed the water

Come, let us all with heart and voice applaud our live’s defender
Who, at the Boyne, his valour showed and made for James’ surrender
To God above, the praise we’ll give now and ever after
And bless the glorious memory when King William crossed the water


Written by Lieutenant Colonel William Blacker

Song Clip