The tune of the song was ‘borrowed’ from the traditional Scottish song ‘The
Intro: D-A7-D-A7-D G-G-D-A7
(D)see the (A7)scaffold (D)rising high on (A7)Dublin’s Thomas (D)Street
Where to(G)day the cars are passing by only (D)some short yards a(A7)way?
how it (A)stood there, one long (D)passed Sep(A7)tember (D)day
(G)dangling noose a waiting for a (D)man his fate to (A)meet.
So next (D)time you’ll
(A7)walk on (D)Thomas Street you shall (A)see the gallows (D)tree
Where in (G)eighteen-three
bold Emmet died for to (D)set your country (A)free *
(D)add the (A7)crowding (D)masses, let your (A7)mind drift back in (D)time
(G)shouting, laughing merrily, but many (D)weeping in sad (A)grief.
(G)gathered here to (A)see him dying (D)like a (A7)common (D)thief,
Yet a (G)man
who fought for Ireland’s sake, doomed to (D)leave life in his (A)prime.
(D)listen, (A7)can you (D)hear it, how the (A7)booming sound of (D)drums
from brick stoned houses’ walls, struggling (D)with a solemn (A)bell
(G)church tower of St. (A)Catherine’s, clear in (D)sound- a (A7)brave man’s (D)knell.
(G)Redcoats fill the square then, with their (D)threatening shouldered (A)guns.
the (A7)marching (D)soldiers, can you (A7)see the cart ap(D)proach
(G)horses down the western road, all way (D)from Kilmainham (A)Jail.
(G)fading people’s (A)voices, watch their (D)faces (A7)turning (D)pale
(G)spy this sad day’s casualty standing (D)proudly on the (A)coach.
(D)firm step (A7)and his (D)calmness, as he (A7)climbs the wooden (D)stair,
(G)hangman without trembling but with (D)fortitude so (A)keen
Like a (G)hero
of old (A)legends in his (D)uni(A7)form of (D)green
(G)raise his voice in farewell then, followed (D)by a final (A)prayer.
(D)rope is (A7)stretched, he’s (D)tumbling and then (A7)given time to (D)die
to be beheaded yet, his head pre(D)sented to the (A)crowd
(G)if he was (A)traitor, and no (D)man who (A7)was no (D)coward
But a (G)patriot
to his country dear, full of (D)love for Erin’s (A)Isle
the (A7)gallow’s (D)platfrom, comrades (A7)in immortal (D)fame
(G)ghosts of other martyrs, welcome (D)him with open (A)arms
For to (G)guide
his soul to (A)heaven, out of (D)reach of (A7)earthly (D)harms
There to (G)take his place among them now, Robert (D)Emmet,
Chorus, finish with a D-chord
* Alternative: for to set old Ireland free