The Patriot Game

Dominic Behan

Come all you young rebels and list while I sing
For love of ones land is a terrible thing
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame
And makes us all part of the patriot game

My name is O’Hanlon, I’m just gone sixteen
My home is in Monaghan there I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England to blame
And so I’m part of the patriot game

It’s barely a year since I wandered away
With the local battalions of the bold IRA
I read of our heroes and wanted the same
To play up my part in the patriot game

They told me how Connolly was shot in a chair
His wounds from the fighting all bleeding and bare
His fine body twisted all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game

This Ireland of mine has for long been half-free
Six Counties are under John Bull’s Monarchy
But still DeValera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the patriot game

I don’t mind a bit if I shoot down police
They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace
And yet at deserters I’m never let aim
The rebels who sold out the patriot game

And now as I lie with my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained and sold
I’m sorry my rifle has not done the same
For the Quislings who sold out the patriot game