Lillibullero

Lyrics

Ho, brother Teague, dost hear the decree?
Lillibullero bullen a la
We are to have a new deputy
Lillibullero bullen a la

CHORUS
Lero Lero Lillibullero
Lillibullero bullen a la
Lero Lero Lero Lero
Lillibullero bullen a la

Oh by my soul it is a Talbot
Lillibullero bullen a la
And he will cut every Englishman’s throat
Lillibullero bullen a la
Chorus

Now Tyrconnell is come ashore
Lillibullero bullen a la
And we shall have commissions galore
Lillibullero bullen a la
Chorus

And everyone that won’t go to Mass
Lillibullero bullen a la
He will be turned out to look like an ass
Lillibullero bullen a la
Chorus

Now the heretics all go down
Lillibullero bullen a la
By Christ and St Patrick’s the nation’s our own
Lillibullero bullen a la
Chorus

There was an old prophecy found in a bog
Lillibullero bullen a la
The country’d be ruled by an ass and a dog
Lillibullero bullen a la
Chorus

Now this prophecy is all come to pass
Lillibullero bullen a la
For Talbot’s the dog and Tyrconnell’s the ass
Lillibullero bullen a la
Chorus


Notes

Lillibullero is a march that seems to have been known at the time of the English Civil War. The lyrics refer to the Williamite war in Ireland 1689–91.  Catholic King James II, unsure of the loyalty of his army, fled England after an invasion by Dutch forces under the Protestant William III.  James II then tried to reclaim the crown with Catholic supporter from Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell. Tolbot (or ‘Tadhg’), the ‘new Deputy’ quickly filled the army in Ireland with Catholic officers (hence ‘commissions galore’). ‘By Christ and St Patrick’ refers to Dublin’s two Cathedrals: Christ Church and St Patrick’s. The song parodies the widespread Irish belief in prophecy (“there was an old prophecy found in a bog, that Ireland’d be ruled by an ass and a dog”). Talbot is also a breed of hound or hunting dog.


Song Clip


County

Limerick

Song Themes

Williamite War

Songwriter