Grave of Wolfe Tone


In Bodenstown churchyard, there is a green grave
And wildly around it the winter winds rave
Small shelter I wean, are the ruined walls there
When the storm clouds sweeps down from the plains of Kildare

Once I lay on that sod that lies over Wolfe Tone
And thought how he perished in prison alone
His friends unavenged and his country unfreed
“Oh bitter” I said “is the patriot’s mead”

For in him the heart of a woman combined
With a heroic life and a governing mind
A martyr for Ireland, his grave has no stone
His name seldom named, and his virtues unknown

I was woke from my dream by the voices and tread
Of a band who came into the home of the dead
They carried no corpse and they carried no stone,
And they stopped when they came to the grave of Wolfe Tone

There were students and peasants, the wise and the brave
And an old man who knew him from cradle to grave
And children who thought me hard hearted, for they
On that sanctified sod, were forbidden to play

But the old man who saw I was mourning there, said
“We come sir, to weep where young Wolfe Tone is laid
And we’re going to raise him a monument too
A plain one, yet fit for the simple and true”

My heart overflowed and I clasped his old hand
I blessed him, and blessed every one of his band
“Sweet, sweet ’tis to find that such faith can remain
To the cause and the man so long vanquished and slain”

In Bodenstown churchyard, there is a green grave
And freely around it, let the winter winds rave
Far better thay suit him, the ruin and the gloom
Till Ireland, a nationa, can buld him a tomb

Kildare 1

Songs of Kildare


Theobald Wolfe Tone (20 June 1763 – 19 November 1798) was a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the founding members of the United Irishmen. He is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism. He was captured by British forces at Lough Swilly in Donegal and taken prisoner. Before he was to be executed, Wolfe Tone attempted suicide and subsequently died from his wounds eight days after the attempt, thus avoiding being hanged as a convicted traitor to the British Crown for his involvement in the 1798 Irish Rebellion. Every summer, Irish Republicans of various political and paramilitary groupings hold commemorations at Tone’s grave in Bodenstown, County Kildare.

Clip – Tom Donovan




Song Themes

1798 Rebellion


Thomas Davis