Smashing of the Van (Chumbawamba)

“Smashing of the Van” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Smashing of the Van” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Performer: Chumbawamba.
Lyrics: Anonymous.
Tune: Traditional.


Attend you gallant Irishmen
And listen for a while.
I’ll sing to you the praises
Of the sons of Erin’s Isle.
It’s of those gallant heroes
Who voluntar’ly ran
To release two Irish shamrocks
From an English prison van.

The Eighteenth of September,
It was in that dreadful year,
When sorrow and excitement
Ran throughout all Lancashire.
At a gath’ring of the Irish Boys,
They volunteered each man
To release those Irish prisoners
Out of the prison van.

Hurrah, my lads, for freedom!
Let’s all join heart and hand!
May the Lord have mercy on the boys
Who helped to smash the van!

In Manchester, one morning,
Those good heroes did agree
Their leaders, Kelly and Deasy,
Should have their liberty.
They drank a health to Ireland
And soon made up a plan
To meet the prisoners on the road
And take and smash the van.

Hurrah, my lads, for freedom!
Let’s all join heart and hand!
May the Lord have mercy on the boys
Who helped to smash the van!

With courage bold, these heroes went
And soon the van did stop.
They cleared the guards from back and front
And then smashed in the top.
But in blowing open of the lock,
They chanced to kill a man.
So three men must die on the scaffold high
For smashing of the van.

Hurrah, my lads, for freedom!
Let’s all join heart and hand!
May the Lord have mercy on the boys
Who helped to smash the van!

So now, kind friends, I will conclude
I think it would be right
That all true-hearted Irishmen
Together should unite.
Together should sympathize, my friends,
And do the best we can
To keep the memories ever green
Of the boys who smashed the van.

Hurrah, my friends, for freedom!
Let’s all join heart and hand!
May the Lord have mercy on the boys
Who helped to smash the van!


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