Men of the West, Song from Co. Mayo

Men of the West, Author: William Rooney

When you honor in song and in story 

The names of the patriot men, 

Whose valor has covered with glory 

Full many a mountain and glen, 

Forget not the boys of the heather 

Who rallied their bravest and best 

When Ireland was broken in Wexford 

And looked for revenge to the West. 


I give you the gallant old West, boys, 

Where rallied our bravest and best 

When Ireland lay broken and bleeding; 

Hurrah for the men of the West! 

The hilltops with glory were glowing 

'Twas the eve of a bright harvest day, 

When the ship we'd been wearily waiting 

Sailed into Killala's broad bay. 

And over the hills went the slogan 

To awaken in every breast 

The fire that has never been quenched, boys, 

Among the true hearts of the West. 

Killala was ours ere the midnight, 

And high over Ballina town 

Our banners in triumph were waving 

Before the next sun had gone down. 

We gathered to speed the good work, boys 

The true men from near and afar; 

And history can tell how we routed 

The redcoats through old Castlebar. 

And pledge me the stout sons of France, boys, 

Bold Humbert and all his brave men, 

Whose tramp, like the trumpet of battle, 

Brought hope to the drooping again. 

Since Ireland has caught to her bosom 

On many a mountain and hill 

The gallants who fell, so they're here, boys, 

To cheer us to victory still. 

Though all the bright dreamings we cherished 

Went down in disaster and woe, 

The spirit of old is still with us 

That never would bend to the foe. 

And Connaught is ready whenever 

The loud rolling tuck of the drum 

Rings out to awaken the echoes 

And tell us the morning has come. 

 Willliam Rooney

Willliam Rooney (Liam Ó Maolruanaigh), born in Dublin in 1873, was an Irish nationalist, journalist, poet and Gaelic revivalist.

For the Centenary Celebrations of the 1798 Rebellion, he wrote the lyrics of this song on the air of an Irish song called “Eoghan Chóir” which was composed by the Mayo Society of United Irishmen member and songwriter, Riocard Bairéad who took part in the Rebellion.

Afterwards, the song was translated into Irish by Conchúr Mag Uidhir, who won a prize for that work at the 1903 Feis Ceoil in Mayo.

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