Songs and ballads
The Banks of Mulroy Bay
On the second day of April, it's well I mind the date,
On the morning of that fateful day in 1878,
When this great Earl of Leitrim - the tyrant I should say,
Left his home in Manorvaughan on the banks of Mulroy Bay.
The landlord gave strict orders, when leaving home that day,
That evictions they should then take place, without undue delay,
His bailiffs they should get to work, as you may understand,
And banish us poor Catholics from out our native land.
The morning it was gentle and the birds did sweetly sing,
And `neath the woods of Cratlagh, they made the valleys ring,
When Leitrim and his party were driving at full trot,
And entering into Cratlagh Wood they got a fearful shock.
The coachman named Buchanan, a lad from Milford town,
He was blown from the dickie, and left sprawling on the ground,
May the Lord have mercy on his soul, poor boy he suffered sore,
Till death did end his sufferings on the banks of Mulroy shore.
John Makim then, the tyrant's clerk, a lad so strong and stout,
He too received some slugs of lead, which made him reel about,
He shouts aloud unto Kincaid as on the ground he lay,
”I'm shot, I'm shot, dear Willie”, on the banks of Mulroy Bay.
The great exterminator; the Lord of this estate,
For him there was an inch of lead - too hard to masticate.
His body it lay lifeless on the road, I heard them say,
To feed the dogs and hungry crows on the banks of Mulroy Bay.
The Shooting of Lord Leitrim
Rejoice ye men of Leitrim,
No longer mourn the fate
That held you in serfdom
On a villain's broad estate.
The iron hand that bound you
In slavery's hated chain
Shall never seize your earnings
Nor menace you again.
No more that tyrant Landlord
Shall rack rent and oppress;
No more increase your misery
Nor add to your distress.
The curses of his victims
Have fallen on his head,
And the avenger's hand has sent him
To number with the dead.
Lord Leitrim was a noble man,
He owned a vast estate
And he ruled like a despot
And earned the people's hate
One hundred thousand acres
Were subject to his sway;
And he kept his suffering tenants
In terror and dismay.
The widow's prayers he laughed at;
The orphans' tears despised.
He rooted up their homesteads
And in poverty they died.
He trampled on their sacred rights
That earned their sweated toil,
And he banished them in hundreds
From Tirconaill's holy soil.
In Galway, as in Leitrim,
His tyranny was felt,
From both these western counties
He exterminates himself.
The Donegal evictions
In history mark a place,
But it was here in Donegal they ended
That hoary sinner's race.
It was on the road to Milford
The armed avengers stood,
And they wiped out the injuries of years
In that vile evictor's blood.
Who dares to say that's wrong,
For they rid the land of Leitrim
Who burdened it too long.
Rejoice ye men of Leitrim,
Galway and Donegal,
For that tyrant's blood was shed
In vengeance for you all.
You suffered from his tyranny,
You feared his dread command,
You had to pay increased rents and do his will
Or be banished from his lands.
So no more that dreadful mandate
Will issue forth from him
He has paid the price of tyranny
As he lived, he died, in sin.
And the widow's ruined cottage,
Near Cranford marks the spot,
Where Leitrim fell a bleeding corpse
Before a Fanad shot.
Here's to the men who did that deed,
May their names be never known,
Only to that band of brothers
Who claim them as their own.
In Donegal and Leitrim,
Let Irishmen proclaim,
And will you now please pray for those
Who ended that tyrant's reign.
Both ballads published in "The Fanad Patriots", 1962.