James Connolly (Black 47)

“James Connolly” Sheet Music (pdf).
“James Connolly” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Larry Kirwan.
Tune: Larry Kirwan.


Marchin’ down O’Connell Street with the starry plough on high,
There goes the citizen army with their fists raised in the sky.
Leadin’ them is a mighty man with a mad rage in his eye.

“My name is James Connolly. I didn’t come here to die
But to fight for the rights of the workin’ man, the small farmer, too,
Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws.
So, hold on to your rifles, boys. Don’t give up your dreams
Of a republic for the workin’ class, economic liberty.”

Then, Jem yelled out, “Oh, citizens, this system is a curse:
An English boss is a monster; an Irish one, even worse.
They’ll never lock us out again, and here’s the reason why”:

“My name is James Connolly. I didn’t come here to die
But to fight for the rights of the workin’ man, the small farmer, too,
Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws.
So, hold on to your rifles, boys. Don’t give up your dreams
Of a republic for the workin’ class, economic liberty.”

And now, we’re in the GPO with the bullets whizzin’ by
With Pearse and Sean McDermott biddin’ each other goodbye.
Up steps our citizen leader, and he roars out to the sky:

“My name is James Connolly. I didn’t come here to die
But to fight for the rights of the workin’ man, the small farmer, too,
Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws.
So, hold on to your rifles, boys. Don’t give up your dreams
Of a republic for the workin’ class, economic liberty.”

[ad-lib] Oh, Lillie, I don’t want to die.
We’ve got so much to live for.
And I know we’re goin’ out to get slaughtered.
But I just can’t take anymore.
Just the sight of one more child screamin’ from hunger
In a Dublin slum or his mother slavin’
Fourteen-hour days for the scum who exploit her
And take her youth and throw it on the factory floor.
Oh, Lillie, I just can’t take anymore.
They’ve locked us out; they’ve banned our unions.
They even treat their animals better than us!
Oh, no! It’s far better to die
Like a man on your feet than to live forever
Like some slave on your knees, Lillie.
But don’t let them wrap any green flag around me.
And for God’s sake, don’t let them
Bury me in some field full of harps and shamrocks.
And whatever you do, don’t let them
Make a martyr out of me. Oh, no!
Rather, raise the starry plough on high
And sing a song of freedom.
Here’s to you, Lillie,
The rights of man, and international revolution!

We fought them to a standstill while the flames lit up the sky
’Til a bullet pierced our leader, and we gave up the fight.
They shot him in Kilmainham Jail, but they’ll never stop his cry:

“My name is James Connolly. I didn’t come here to die
But to fight for the rights of the workin’ man, the small farmer, too,
Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws.
So, hold on to your rifles, boys. Don’t give up your dreams
Of a republic for the workin’ class, economic liberty.”


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