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John Riley

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John Reilly Song Lyrics And Chords. 6/8 (Tim O’Brien)For Tim O’Brien’s version us a capo on the 3rd fret. This is song No. 4 about John Reily who took part in the fight against America while fighting for Mexico during the 1846-48 war. Chords for all the songs about The Saint Patrick's Battalion are by Marc.

ohn (Bm)Riley came from Galway town in the (D)years of the Irish (Em)hunger
And he (Bm)sailed away to America when the (Em)country was much (Bm)younger
Now the (Bm)place was strange and work was scarce and (D)all he knew was (Em)farming
So he (Bm)followed his other Irish friends to a (Em)job in the US (Bm)Army

Ad(D)venture calls and some men run, and (Bm)this is their sad (Em)story
Now (Bm)some get drunk on demon rum and (Em)some get drunk on (Bm)glory

They (Bm)marched down Texas way to the (D)banks of the Rio (Em)Grande
They (Bm)built a fort on the banks above to (Em)taunt old Santa (Bm)Anna
They were (Bm)treated bad, paid worse, and (D)then the fighting (Em)started
The (Bm)more they fought the less they thought of the (Em)damned old US (Bm)Army

When the (Bm)church bells rang on Sunday morn it (D)set his soul a (Em)shiver
He saw the (Bm)Senoritas washing their hair on the (Em)far side of the (Bm)river
Then John (Bm)Riley and two hundred more (D)Irish merce(Em)naries
(Bm)Cast their lot, right or not, (Em)south of the Rio (Bm)Grande

Instrumental Bridge
Now (Bm)they fought bravely under the flag of the (D)San Patrici(Em)os
Till the (Bm)Yankees soldiers beat them down at the (Em)battle of Churu(Bm)busco
Then (Bm)fifteen men were whipped like mules and on the (D)cheeks were hot iron (Em)branded
Made to (Bm)dig the graves of fifty more, who a (Em)hanging fate had (Bm)handed

Instrumental Bridge
John (Bm)Riley stands and drinks alone at a (D)bar in Vera (Em)Cruz
He (Bm)wonders if it matters much if you (Em)win or if you (Bm)lose
I'm a (Bm)man who can't go home, a (D)wanderer, says (Em)he
I’m a (Bm)victim of some wanderlust and di(Em)vided loyal(Bm)ty
Chorus twice


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