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The Fenians' Escape
Traditional Irish Songs


Now boys, if you will listen, a story I'll relate
I'll tell you of the noble men who from their foe escaped
Though bound with Saxon fetters in the dark Australian jail
They struck a blow for freedom and for Yankeeland set sail

On the seventeenth of April last the Stars and Stripes did fly
On board the bark Catalpa, waving proudly to the sky
She showed the green above the red as she did calmly lay
Prepared to take the Fenian boys in safety o'er the sea

When Breslin and brave Desmond brought the prisoners to the shore
They gave one shout for freedom; soon to bless them evermore
And manned by gallant Irish hearts, pulled towards the Yankee shore
For well they knew, from its proud folds, no tyrant could them drag

They had nearly reached in safety the Catalpa taut and trim
When fast approaching them they saw a vision dark and dim
It was the gunboat Georgette, and on her deck there stood
One hundred hired assassins, to shed each patriot's blood

The gunboat reached the bounding bark and fired across her bow
Then in loud voice commanded that the vessel should heave to
But noble Captain Anthony in thunder tones did cry
"You dare not fire a shot at that bright flag that floats on high"

"My ship is sailing peacefully beneath that flag of stars
It's manned by Irish hearts of oak and manly Yankee tars
And that dear emblem near the fore, so plain to be seen
Is is the banner I'll protect, old Ireland's flag of green"

The Britisher he sailed away, from the Stars and Stripes he ran
He knew his chance was slim to fight the boys of Uncle Sam
So Hogan, Wilson, Harrington, with Darragh off did go
With Hassett and bold Cranston, soon to whip the Saxon foe

Here's luck to Captain Anthony who well these men did free
He dared the English man-o'-war to fight him on the sea
And here's to that dear emblem which in triumph shall be seen
The flag for which our heroes fought, old Ireland's flag of green


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