Kinsale Ballad


Long ago in sweet Kinsale
Ireland lost her liberty
When King James had set his sail
Past the sovereigns to the sea
So the Wild Geese flew away
Of their flight we sadly sing
Sarsfield’s ships are on the sea
And the Geese are on the wing

It was many years before
That the Spaniards quartered there
But the English beat O’Neill
And our Irish hopes lay bare
It was vain for us to sing
Of O’Donnell’s bravery
When the Geese were on the wing
And the ships were on the sea

For in Spain O’Donnell died
And in France, King James was laid
And the shade of Erin grieved
That her cause had been betrayed
But the years of grief and tears
Brought the hope of O’Connell and Tone
And through Collins and thro’ Pearse
Ireland now has gained her own

Where the Bandon meets the sea
Lies Kinsale so pleasant there
Quiet town and winding streets
And the harbour waters fair
For her country now is free
There is no more need to roam
Little ships are on the sea
And the Geese can now come home


The Flight of the Wild Geese was the departure of an Irish Jacobite army under the command of Patrick Sarsfield from Ireland to France, as agreed in the Treaty of Limerick on 3 October 1691, following the end of the Williamite War in Ireland.

Song Clip



Song Themes

Siege of Limerick