Billy Byrne of Ballymanus


Come all ye brave United Men, I pray you lend an ear
And listen to the verses I now will let you hear
Concerning noble Billy Byrne, a man of great renown
Who was tried and hanged at Wicklow as a traitor to the crown

It was in the year of ninety-nine, we had reason to complain
We lost our brave commander, Billy Byrne was his name
In Dublin he was taken and brought to Wicklow Jail
And though we wished to free him, for him they’d take no bail

And when they had him taken, those traitors they came in
There was Dixon, Doyle and Davis, and likewise Bid Doolin
They had but little scruple, his precious blood to spill
And Wicklow lost through perjury, the pride of Pleasant Hill

Now some of those informers who in false evidence agreed
Were men who in his father’s house so frequently did feed
And at his brother’s table where many did them see
And so those perjurers paid the Byrnes for their generosity

When they came forward for the Crown, they against him swore
That he among the Rebels, a Captain’s title bore
They swore he worked the cannons, and the Rebels did review
And that with that piece of cannon, he marched on Carrigue.

God rest to Billy Byrne, may his name forever shine
We’ll not forget his noble death in the year of ninety nine
May the Lord have mercy on him and all such men as he
Who stood upright for Ireland’s right, and died for liberty

Wicklow 1

Songs of Wicklow