Henry Lawson

(17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922 / Grenfell, New South Wales)

As Ireland Wore the Green


BY RIGHT of birth in southern land I send my warning forth.
I see my country ruined by the wrongs that damned the North.
And shall I stand with fireless eyes and still and silent mouth
While Mammon builds his Londons on the fair fields of the South?

CHORUS:
O must we hide our colour
In fear of Mammon’s spleen?
Or shall we wear the bonnie blue
As Ireland wore the green?
As Ireland wore the green, my friends!
As Ireland wore the green!
Aye, we will wear our colour still,
As Ireland wore the green!

I see the shade of poverty fall on each sunny scene.
And slums and alley-ways extend where fields were evergreen.
There is a law that stamps the flower of freedom as it springs;
And this upon a soil that’s trod by prouder feet than kings’.

And must I hide my colour
In fear of Mammon’s spleen?
Or shall I wear the bonnie blue
As Ireland wore the green?
As Ireland wore the green, my friends!
As Ireland swore the green!
Aye, I will wear my colour yet,
As Ireland wore the green!

Out there beyond the lonely range our fathers toiled for years
’Neath all the hardships that beset true-hearted pioneers;
And our brave mothers journeyed there to do the work of men
On those great awful plains that were unfit for women then.

Then must we hide our colour
In fear of Mammon’s spleen?
Or shall we wear the bonnie blue
As Ireland swore the green?
As Ireland wore the green, my friends!
As Ireland wore the green!
Aye, we shall wear our colour still,
As Ireland wore the green!

O shall the fields our fathers won be yielded to the few
Who never touched the axe or spade, and hardships never knew?
Shall lordly robbers rule the land and build their mansions high,
And ladies flaunt their jewelled plumes where our brave mothers lie?

O must we hide our colour
In fear of Mammnon’s spleen?
Or shall the wear the bonnie blue
As Ireland wore the green?
As Ireland wore the green, my friends!
As Ireland wore the green!
Aye, the will wear our colour yet,
As Ireland wore the green!

What though our stalwart fathers came from every land on earth,
We will be loyal to the land that gives our children birth.
We’ll show our banner to the sun—the Southern Cross displayed—
And join our strength together for the home our fathers made.

Let cowards hide their colour
For fear of Mammon’s spleen!
But I will wear my bonnie blue
As Ireland swore the green!
As Ireland swore the green, my friends!
As Ireland wore the green!
Aye, I will wear my colour still,
As Ireland swore the green!

We’ll light the lamp of hope above the alley and the slum,
And teach the poor and drill them for the war that is to come.
We’ll send our songs recruiting far beneath the western sky,
And wake the towns and let them know the day of deeds is nigh.

And the twill wear our colour
In spite of Mammon’s spleen!
O the will wear the bonnie blue
As Ireland wore the green!
As Ireland wore the green, my friends!
As Ireland wore the green!
Aye, the will wear our colour yet,
As Ireland wore the green!

Submitted: Friday, March 26, 2010

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