Our Poet and Rebel Bobby Sands: Hair Of The Dog – Back Home In Derry

Bobby Sands: Hair Of The Dog – Back Home In Derry

In 1803, we sailed out to sea
Out of the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound, if we didn’t all drown
The marks of our fetters we carried
In our rusty iron chains, we cried for our wains
Our good women we left in sorrow
As the mainsails unfurled, our curses we hurled
At the English and thoughts of tomorrow

At the mouth of the Foyle bid farewell to the soil
As down below decks we were lying.
O’Docherty’ screamed, woken out of a dream
By a vision of bold Robert dying.
The sun burned cruel as we dished out the gruel
Dan O’Connor was down with a fever
Sixty rebels today bound for Botany Bay.
How many would reach their receiver?

Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry

We cursed them to Hell,
As our bow fought the swell
Our ship danced like a moth in the firelight.
Wild horses rode high as the devil passed by
Taking souls into Hades by twilight
Five weeks out to sea we were now 43
We buried our comrades each morning
In our own slime, lost in a time,
Endless nights without dawning

Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry

Van Diemens Land is a hell for a man
To live out his whole life in slavery
Where the climate is raw and the gun makes the law
Neither wind nor rain care for bravery
Twenty years have gone by and I’ve ended my bond
My comrades’ ghosts walk behind me
A rebel I came; I’m still the same
On a cold winter’s night you will find me

Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh….. I wish I was back home in Derry

Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7LcjKUesck

Our poet and rebel Bobby Sands is twenty-seven years old when he dies on the sixty-sixth day of hunger strike in the H-Block prison hospital, Long Kesh, on the 5th May 1981.

The young IRA Volunteer, who spends almost the last nine years of his short life in prison as a result of his Irish republican activities, is elected to the British parliament.

Bobby Sands withstands pressures, political and moral – including an emissary from Pope John Paul II, for him to abandon his hunger strike.

Background for his poem: In 1865-1867 British authorities arrest supporters of the Fenian Brotherhood in Ireland and transport many to the penal colony in Australia.

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