As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
There Armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound its dread tattoo
But the Angelus bell o’er the Liffey swell rang out through the foggy dew
These are the opening lyrics of the famous rebel song The Foggy Dew, written by Canon Charles O’Neill (1887-1963), a parish priest of Kilcoo and later Newcastle, County Down. The song tells about the failed Irish uprising during Easter of 1916. This Irish revolt began on April 24, when a group of armed men led by Patrick Pearse and James Connolly, entered the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin and ordered staff and customers to leave. Patrick Pearse and his compatriots were motivated by various ideals but held the common belief that only an armed revolt could bring about the independence of Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom. They chose the GPO, the communications heart of the country and the center of Dublin city, as the building on which to hoist the flag of an Irish republic. For nearly a week, the rebels held the GPO. During that time, intense fighting around the GPO and in other parts of the city resulted in many civilian casualties. The Irish Revolt so fascinated Americans that for fourteen days the New York Times printed front page headlines reporting the events in Ireland along with the news of WWI. On April 29, with the building on fire and crumbling, the Irish rebels tried to break through the surrounding army cordon but failed. Pearse, realizing the futility of further fighting, finally took the decision to surrender. On April 30, the New York Times printed an in depth article on the revolt that stated, “Irish separatists in this country do not believe that the uprising in Dublin was the formal planned beginning of a revolution … But they do believe that Ireland’s golden opportunity for revolution has come, and that the Dublin incident … will serve very well for the historian of a Free Ireland as a picturesque point of departure — in short, another Boston Tea Party or Battle of Lexington.”
History has proven that the Easter Rising of 1916 was the spark that fanned the flames of rebellion and led to the formation of the Irish Republic.
Starting at 4pm, on Sunday, April 19, at O’Connor’s Pub in Delray Beach, The Roaring Kelly Band performs our two-hour set of entertaining tunes, fun pub songs, ballads, and rebel songs like The Foggy Dew and Come Out Ye Blacks and Tans; songs that commemorate the acts of the brave men and women who fought for Irish independence. Come join us and raise high your glass.
Oh the bravest fell, and the Requiem bell rang mournfully and clear,
For those who died that Eastertide in the spring time of the year
While the world did gaze, with deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few,
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light might shine through the foggy dew.