The Ballad of James Larkin

Submitted by Anon on 27 April, 2006 - 1:43 Author: Donagh MacDonagh

By Donagh MacDonagh

In Dublin City in 1913 the boss was rich and the poor were slaves

The women working, the children starving, then on came Larkin like a mighty wave

The workmen cringed when the boss man thundered, seventy hours was his weekly chore

He asked for little and less was granted, lest gettin' little, then he'd ask for more

But on came Larkin in 1913, a mighty man with a mighty tongue

The voice of labor, the voice of justice, and he was gifted and he was young

God sent Larkin in 1913, a labor man with a union tongue

He raised the workers and gave them courage; he was their hero, the worker's son

It was in August the boss man told us, no union man for him could work

We stood by Larkin and told the boss man, we'd fight or die, but we would not shirk

Eight months we fought and eight months we starved; we stood by Larkin through thick and thin

But foodless homes and the crying of children, they broke our hearts, we could not win

When Larkin left us we seemed defeated. The night was black for the working man,

But on came Connolly with hope and counsel. His motto was that we'd rise again

In 1916 in Dublin city, the English soldiers they burnt our town

They shelled the buildings, and shot our leaders; the harp was buried beneath the crown

They shot McDermott and Pearse and Plunkett; they shot McDonagh and Clarke the brave.

From bleak Kilmainham they took their bodies to Arbour Hill to a quicklime grave

But last of all of the seven leaders I sing the praise of James Connolly

The voice of labor, the voice of justice, he gave his life that men might be free.

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