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Wexford Rebel Songs

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Old Wexford Rebel Songs , these three songs from Wexford are dedicated to the memory of John Crean, Patrick Hogan and James Parle who gave their lives for Ireland and were executed on 13th March 1923 at Wexford Barracks by Free state forces, all three were shot. The men were part of a ''Flying Column'' of 6 men. They were captured in a house in Horestown,Co Wexford. They sought shelter here from the hills and valleys where they roamed. The house was owned by an ex British Army Major and the servent girl provided the I.R.A. men with food. As the took shelter in the loft of the house the Free State Soldiers burst in and took the men by surprise.The three were taken by lorry to Wexford Barracks.Five men in total were taken, they were James Parle, William Parle,John Crean, Murt Walsh and Patrick Hogan, the sixth man Barney Cosgrave had earler left the house and on his return he saw his comrades been taken away in the lorry,. Barney was unable to help and made his escape. Three days later all five men were charged with possession of firearms without authority. A few weeks later James Parle, John Crean and Patrick Hogan were among 50 other prisoners in the barracks when their names were called out to be told they would be shot at eight o'clock in the morning. [March 12th]
Before the men were executed the asked that no reprisals be carried out by Wexford Republicans.
At 8am Tuesday March 13 the men were blindfolded and taken to the place of execution accompanied by two priests. There they stood beside a large open grave and were shot. Patrick died instantly, his comrades lingered on after being shot until a soldier finished them off with a shot in the ear. The men were placed in the three coffins that were beside the open grave and then laid to rest with the last rites given by the priests.

Old Wexford Rebel Songs
As the cold grey dawn was breaking over ancient Wexford town
Three patriotic heroes were led forth in fetters bound
Because they love their country, and served her night and day
And before they faced the rifles this is what those boys did say.

Take away the blood-stained bandage from off an Irish brow.
We fought and bled for Ireland and will not skirk it now
We have helped her in her struggle, we answered to her call
And because we loved her freedom, we are placed against the

Jim Parle from Clover Valley, John Creane from Tagmon
Pat Hogan from old Wexford, a true born Irish son,
They have sprinkled our dear shamrock with their blood for
freedom's day
And before they faced the rifles this is what those boys did say.
Parle - Crean  Hogan From Wexford
The mourners weep for the three who sleep by the Slaney's silvery stream
In Crosstown lone, there's a Celtic stone o'er an honoured plot so green
By that rebel tomb you'll know the doom of Parle, Hogan and Creanr
Let history tell, each victim fell by the Treaty's cruel reign.

In the battlefield they would not yield in the rebel ranks they trod,
They were caught and tried, and each one died shot by the firing squad
Ye mourners weep for the three who sleep where we kneel each Easteriiil,
To pledge anew that we'll be true to all who nobly died.

If some forget the rebel plot in Crosstown's churchyard old
Now let them pause, upon the cause of every rebel bold
Oh, where's the gain,'t was all in vain, the hand of vile duress
Took the youthful three, sad sight to see with vengeance to oppress
Oh, Wexford Jail speak now your tale, each cell looks grim and cold
Oh, let me tell, each hero fell defending Erin old.

Did their deaths not cry to Justice high ere that court in Wexford jail
With the firing squad sent each soul to God, while friends did weep and
Had I seen them fall, for revenge I'd call, though 'tis better indeed to pray
Yet my blood would boil, 'cause on Irish soil, they were done to death one•

And oh, ye three, full of life and glee with many a year to live
With hearts so brave, by an early grave did you speak that word 'forgive
mid radiant light and hopes so bright what mortal ere could stand
With no crime here, but his country dear and forgive the killing hand.

And now you three we'll honour thee and your memory shall not fade
Since 't was your lot in the rebel plot your bodies to be laid.
In peace you sleep by the Slaney deep and while that stream do roll
On Wexford's sod we'll pray to God, for mercy on each soul.
Here's To Their Memory - Wexford Rebel
As I passed Wexford jail, on a bright summer evening
My heart missed a beat as I gazed on the scene.
Where three gallant heroes Parle, Creane, and Hogan
Died for old Ireland, the orange, white and green.

T'was on a March morning they were led from their pri.ti'n
Young Hogan from Wexford tall and proud was his franir
He was placed in the centre, his comrades beside him
For the guns of the soldiers the better to aim.

He died in that first hail of shots from the rifles""'
While our other two heroes fell twisted with pain
As their priests knelt to help them in their last dying moment,.
Parle cried out bravely: "Shoot us again!".

With two bullets for Creane, and two for his comrades '
The Free Stater's Captain quickly obliged
Then their bodies were buried in that old Wexford Courtyard
For the love of their country they'd fought and they'd died.

It was from Major Lakin's these young men were captured
As they fought while their captain made his daring escape
O'er the hills and the fields Barney Cosgrave retreated
To rejoin his brigade and return to the fray.

On the night 'fore they died Parle, Creane and young Hogan
In the cells of their prison lay calm and serene
They requested their priests take these words to their parents
"Say we died for old Ireland, the orange, white and green.

So farewell to our heroes so young yet so youthful
Two in their twenties and one just eighteen
May their memories live on and their cause never falter
For they died for old Ireland the orange, white and green.
Words and music by Sean O'Farrrell

List Of Wexford Songs


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