Kevin Barry

Lyrics

In Mountjoy Jail one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty
Just a lad of eighteen summers
Yet no one can deny
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head on high

Just before he faced the hangman
In his dreary prison cell
British soldiers tortured Barry
Just because he would not tell
The names of his brave comrades
And other things they wished to know
‘Turn informer or we’ll kill you’
Kevin Barry answered ‘No’

Calmly standing to attention
As he bade his last farewell
To his broken-hearted mother
Whose sad grief no one can tell
For the cause he proudly cherished
This sad parting had to be
Then to death walked, softly smiling
That old Ireland might be free

Another martyr for old Ireland
Another murder for the crown
Whose brutal laws may kill the Irish
But can’t keep their spirit down
Lads like Barry are no cowards
From the foe they will not fly
Lads like Barry will free Ireland
For her sake they’ll live and die


Notes

Kevin Gerard Barry (20 January 1902 – 1 November 1920) was the first Irish republican to be executed since the executions of the Easter Rising leaders. He was sentenced to death for his part in an Irish Volunteers operation which resulted in the deaths of three British soldiers.

Though born in Dublin, Kevin Barry spent much of his life at the family home in Tombeigh, Hackettstown. Co Carlow. Both sides of his family, the Barry’s and the Dowling’s came from Carlow, and some of his ancestors had fought in 1798. His eldest brother Mick was OC of the volunteers in Tombeigh. Kevin attended national school in Rathvilly before going to Belvedere College in Dublin where he was a medical student.

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry memorial at Rathvilly church

Kevin Barry memorial at Rathvilly church



County

Carlow


Songwriter