Boys of Barr Na Sraide

Lyrics

Oh the town, it climbs the mountains and looks upon the sea
At sleeping time or waking time, it’s there I’d like to be
To walk again those kindly streets, the place where life began
With the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren

With cudgels stout, they roamed about to hunt for the dreólín
We searched for birds in every furze from Litir to Dooneen
We danced for joy beneath the sky, life held no print nor plan
When the Boys of Barr na Sráide went hunting for the wren

And when the hills were bleeding and the rifles were aflame
To the rebel homes of Kerry the Saxon strangers came
But the men who dared the Auxies and fought the Black-and-Tan
Were the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren

But now they toil in foreign soil where they have made their way
Deep in the heart of London or over on Broadway
And I am left to sing their deeds and praise them while I can
Those Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren

And here’s a health to them tonight wherever they may be
By the groves of Carham river or the slope of Bean ‘a Tí
John Daly and Batt Andy and the Sheehans, Con and Dan
And the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren

When the wheel of life runs out and peace come over me
Just take me back to that old town between the hills and sea
I’ll take my rest in those green fields, the place where life began
With those Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren


Notes

Written by poet Sigerson Clifford (1913–1985), it is named after a street in Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry. It recalls life with his boyhood friends, starting from when they were young children through to the Black and Tan period and up to Civil War. The “hunting for the wran” (wren) is a tradition of hunting the small bird on St. Stephen’s Day (26 December).


Song Clip


County

Kerry


Songwriter