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The Catalpa Lyrics And Chords

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The Catalpa Song Lyrics And Guitar Chords [Rebel Song] 3/4 The Real McKenzies

A (D)noble whale ship and comman(G)der
T’was (D)called the Catalpa, they (G)say
She (D)sailed into Western Austra(G)lia
And (D)took six poor (A)Fenians a(D)way

So come (D)all you screw warders and (G)jailers
Re(D)member Perth regatta (G)day
Take (D)care of the rest of your Fen(G)ians
Or the (D)Yankees will (A)steal them a(D)way

You (D)kept them in Western Austra(G)lia
Till their (D)hair it began to turn (G)grey
When a (D)Yank from the States of Ameri(G)ca
Came (D)out here and (A)stole them a(D)way

Now (D)all the Perth boats were a-ra(G)cing
And (D)making short tacks fot the (G)spot
But the (D)Yankee she tacked into Freman(G)tle
And (D)took the best (A)prize of the (D)lot

The (D)Georgette armed with bold warr(G)iors
Went (D)out the poor Yanks to ar(G)rest
But she (D)hoisted her star-spangled ban(G)ner
Saying (D)you will not (A)board me i (D)guess

So re(D)member those six Fenians coloni(G)al
And (D)sing o'er these few verses with (G)skill
And re(D)member the Yankee that stole (G)them
And the (D)home that they (A)left on the (D)hill
Chorus twice


The song is all about the rescue of six Irishmen who were imprisoned by The British in Western Australia. The men had been sent there because they were Fenians who were fighting for Irish freedom in Ireland. In 1876 these men escaped on board the ship The Catalpa. James Reynolds who was a member of Clan na Gael who were friends of The Finians bought the Ship Catalpa for a sum of $5,200.
On the 29 April 1975 the ship set sail from Massachusetts. The twenty two member crew were unaware of were they were even going, this information was kept secret. While the ship was on it's way to Australia two Finians had already arrived there to help plan the escape, the two who arrived were masqueraded as  American businessmen. They were John Breslin and Tom Desmond. Several attempts were made to drop anchor but some royal navy ships were hanging around the harbour.
The Catalpa then decided it was to risky for such a large ship to sail inti the harbour so they sent a small whaleboad to the shore. At 6-30 am six Finians escaped over the prison walls, they were, Thomas Darragh, Martin Hogan, Michael Harrington, Thomas Hassett, Robert Cranston and James Wilson. At this stage of the escape the prison authorities were searching for the escaped prisoners. The British navy attempted to stop The Catalpa by firing a warning shot. Captain Antohony of The Catalpa then raised The American Flag and informed the Georgette [British Navy Ship] that an attack on the Catalpa would be considered an act of war against the USA, and proceeded. The Georgette followed until they ran out of fuel.
The Catalpa sailed into New York Harbour on the 19 August where a hugh crowd had gathered to cheer.

Catalpa Ship


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