James Larkin

Donagh MacDonagh

In Dublin City in nineteen thirteen
The boss was rich and the poor were slaves
The women working and children starving
Then on came Larkin like a mighty wave
The workers cringed when the boss man thundered
Seventy hours was his weekly chore
He asked for little and less was granted
Lest given little then he’d ask for more

In the month of 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 wouldn’t 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
It broke our hearts, we just couldn’t win

Then Larkin left us, we seemed defeated
The night was black for the working man
But on came Connolly with new hope and counsel
His motto was that we’d rise again
In nineteen sixteen in Dublin City
The English soldiers they burnt our town
The shelled our buildings and shot our leaders
The Harp was buried ‘neath the bloody crown

They shot McDermott and Pearse and Plunkett
They shot McDonagh and Clarke the brave
From bleak Kilmainham they took Ceannt’s body
To Arbour Hill and a quicklime grave
But last of all of the seven heroes
I sing the praise of James Connolly
The voice of justice, the voice of freedom
He gave his life, that man might be free