Portadown

Lyrics

In sixteen hundred and forty one, those Fenians formed a plan
To massacre us Protestants down by the River Bann
To massacre us Protestants and not to spare a man
But to drive us down like a heard of swine into the River Bann

Brave Porter fell a victim because he did intend
To help his brother Protestants, their lives for to defend
The blood did stain the waters red, their bones lay all around
As they drove them down into the Bann that flows through Portadown

A lady living in Loughgall and with her children five
She begged for the sake of them to let her be alive
That she might go to England, her husband there to see
And to live in peace and unity and far from Popery

But Oh, they would not hear her cry, they placed her on the ground
And after having tortured her, the six of them they bound
They said you are a heretic, the Pope you do defy
And it’s from this bridge in Portadown, this day your doom to die

And after having tortured her to a pain she could not stand
Down through the streets of Portadown, they dragged her to the Bann
O’Shane appointed as her guard to guide her on her way
And the thought of five young children was leading her astray

At least the hundred faithful souls in Portadown were slain
All were the deeds of Popery, their wicked words to gain
But god sent down brave Cromwell, our deliverer to be
And he put down Popery in this land, us Protestants set free

King William soon came after him and planted at the Boyne
An Orange tree there that we should bear in mind
How Popery did murder, us Protestants did drown
The bones of some can still be seen this day in Portadown


Notes

This song is about the fate of the Protestants of Portadown during the 1641 Rebellion. The town was taken by Captain Toole McCann acting under the orders of Sir Phelim O’Neill.
At Trinity College in Dublin, there are volumes of depositions which bear witness to a time when savagery and mercilessness prevailed. It must be noted that most of the townsfolk were not “put to the sword”, but rather died when left without food, clothing, or adequate shelter. They simply perished in the Irish winter.


Song Clip


County

Armagh

Song Themes

1641 Rebellion

Songwriter