Francis Duggan

To Him Do I Have To Explain - Poem by Francis Duggan

To where i came from war wasn't a stranger and brother to brother took gun
And the old balladeer still sing the old songs of how the great battles were won
The Boys of Kilmichael and Kevin Barry, Wolfe Tone and the Flag of Sinn Fein
Old Jose ask me what they sing of to him do i have to explain? .

'Oh' sing us a song that is happy and not of old battles gone by
Old rebel songs now i find boring i heard them when i was a boy
In my heart there is room for laughter and rebel songs bore me to tears
You keep trying to resurrect the old heroes though they have been dead now for years.

Don't sing us of the bold Robert Emmett or of Sean South of Garryowen
For those were the songs i grew up with and those songs i now have outgrown
Those rebel songs now antiquated they have outlived their use by date
It's time to make friends with our neighbours and bury the hatchet of hate.

Don't sing us of the Woods of Upton or of the lonely Banna Strand
Those songs were sung around the fireplace when i was a boy in Ireland
Perhaps at one time they meant something they kept patriotism alive
And though the Black and Tans long gone from Ireland the old rebel songs still survive.

They sing of men who died for freedom beyond the seas and far away
But those old songs now seem outdated suppose everything has it's day
He seems a bit confused old Jose and he asks me again and again
Amigo what songs are they singing to him do i have to explain? .

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 30, 2007

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