Sprigs of Kilrea


Ye Protestant heroes give ear to my story
To these simple verses I mean to pen down
Concerning the fame of a few Orange heroes
That sits in George Hunter’s in sweet Kilrea town
I’ll pursue back to Derry likewise Cornaferry
Athlone and the Boyne their true light to display
But I find none so true to the Orange and Blue
As those few purple sprigs that belong to Kilrea


Then hurra and hurra for the sons of King William
And down with offenders wherever ye be
You may stop counting beads and quit midnight parades
And put on Orange shoes when you come to Kilrea

Kilrea is compared with the Garden of Eden
It stands well secured on the top of a hill
It’s bound by a river where no unbeliever
Need ever attempt Orange blood for to spill
There are four trodden footpads that lead through the village
The Orange, the Purple, the Scarlet, the Blue
On the Twelfth of July, sure we all meet up the gether
And at the four corners raise William so true

At the Michaelmas Fair when the goats took to strolling
They strolled to Kilrea but no shelter was found
They all lost the mark that they got on Palm Sunday
But we marked them then with a cross on their crown
The tip lost his bell and ran off to the mountains
And left his whole flock for to roam in dispair
Lamenting the day they had come to Kilrea
To be caught like a ram in the midst of a snare

So ye Protestant heroes on your night of sitting
With loyalty drink to the Milligan’s fame
For they are the boys would face back at no noise, sure
Their King and their cause they would always maintain
And when we’re in debt we will pay the last farthing
To them we owe fourpence we’re sorry to say
But for sake of revenge we will never want change
For to clear up our debt in the town of Kilrea


Song Clip