Bobby Sands


Back Home In Derry - Poem by Bobby Sands

In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn't all drown
And the marks of our fetters we carried
In our rusty iron chains we sighed for our weans
Our good women we left in sorrow
As the mainsails unfurled, our curses we hurled
On the English, and thoughts of tomorrow

CHORUS
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry


At the mouth of the Foyle, bid farewell to the soil
As down below decks we were lying
O'Doherty screamed, woken out of a dream
By a vision of bold Robert dying
The sun burned cruel as we dished out the gruel
Dan O'Connor was down with a fever
Sixty rebels today bound for Botany Bay
How many will meet their reciever

CHORUS
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry

I cursed them to hell as her bow fought the swell
Our ship danced like a moth in the firelight
White horse rode high as the devil passed by
Taking souls to Hades by twilight
Five weeks out to sea, we were now forty-three
Our comrades we buried each morning
In our own slime we were lost in a time
Of endless night without dawning

CHORUS
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry

Van Diemen's land is a hell for a man
To live out his whole life in slavery
Where the climate is raw and the gun makes the law
Neither wind nor rain care for bravery
Twenty years have gone by, I've ended my bond
My comrades ghosts walk behind me
A rebel I came - I'm still the same
On the cold winters night you will find me

CHORUS
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh Oh Oh Oh I wish I was back home in Derry



BOBBY SANDS was twenty seven years old when he died on the sixty sixth day of hunger-strike in the H-Block prison hospital, Long Kesh, on the 5th May 1981. The young IRA Volunteer who had spent almost the last nine years of his short life in prison as a result of his Irish republican activities was, by the time of his death, world-famous having been elected to the british parliament and having withstood pressures, political and moral (including an emissary from Pope John Paul II) , for him to abandon his fast which was aimed at countering a criminalisation policy by the british government. His name became a household word in Ireland, and his sacrifice (as did that of those who followed him) overturned british propaganda on Ireland and had a real effect in advancing the cause of Irish freedom.


Comments about Back Home In Derry by Bobby Sands

  • Sharon Collins (11/2/2019 4:58:00 PM)

    Beautiful, never to be forgotten. (Report)Reply

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  • Margaret O DriscollMargaret O Driscoll (1/24/2016 5:10:00 AM)

    A powerful piece, ' as the mainsails unfurled our curses we hurled on the English' (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, December 18, 2010


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