Boys of Mullaghbawn


On a Monday morning early, as my wand’ring steps did lead me
Down by a farmer’s station of meadow and green lawn
I heard great lamentation that the wee birds they were making
Sayin’ “We’ll have no more engagements with the boys of Mullaghbawn”

I beg your pardon ladies, I ask you this one favour
I hope it is no treason, from you I now must go
I’m condoling late and early, my heart is nigh for breaking
All for a noble lady that lives near Mullaghbawn

Squire Jackson was unequaled for honour or for reason
He never turned a traitor or betrayed the rights of man
But now we are endangered by a vile deceiving stranger
Who has ordered deportation for the Boys of Mullaghbawn

As those heroes crossed the ocean, I’m told the ship in motion
Did stand in wild commotion as if the seas ran dry
The trout and salmon gaping as the cuckoo left her station
Saying “farewell to lovely Erin and the hills of Mullaghbawn”

To end my lamentation, we are all in consternation
None cares for recreation until the day do dawn
For without hesitation, we are charged with combination
And sent for transportation from the hills of Mullaghbawn


Mullaghbawn is a parish in South Armagh between Slieve Gullion and Forkhill.  In the eighteenth century, part of the Forkhill Estate was owned by Squire Richard Jackson who chose to live and work on his estate.  He provided well for his tenants and cared for the poorest and oldest.  On his death in 1878, benevolence to his tenants was removed and they joined Wolfe Tone’s campaign for ‘The Rights of Man’.  Many were transported for supporting the 1798 rising.

Song Clip



Song Themes

1798 Rebellion