Irish Song of Rebellion: Óró, Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile

Óró, Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile is a traditional Irish song, that comes to be known as an Irish rebel song in the early 20th century. The song in its original form, Séarlas Óg (meaning “Young Charles” in Irish) refers to Bonnie Prince Charlie and dates back to the third Jacobite rising in 1745-6.

Óró, Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile

Oh-ro You’re welcome home,

I’d rather you to a hundred milking cows,

Oh-ro You’re welcome home…

Now that summer’s coming!

Young Charles, son of King James

It’s a great distress – your exile from Ireland

Without thread of shoe on you, socks or shirt

Overthrown by the foreigners

 

Alas that I do not see

If I were alive afterwards only for a week

Young Charles and one thousand warriors

Banishing all the foreigners

 

Young Charles is coming over the sea

They will be with him, French and Spanish

Armed Volunteers with him as a guard

And they’ll make the heretics dance!

 

Original Jacobite version:

Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile,

bh’Fearr liom tú ná céad bó bhainne,

Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile

Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh.

A Shéarlais Óig, a mhic Rí Shéamais

‘Sé mo mhór-chreach do thriall as Éirinn

Gan tuinnte bróig’ ort, stoca nó leinidh

Ach do chascairt leis na Gallaibh

 

‘Sé mo léan géar nach bhfeicim

Mur mbéinn beo ‘na dhiaidh ach seachtain

Séarlas Óg is míle gaiscidheach

Ag fógairt fáin ar Ghallaibh

 

Tá Séarlas Óg ag triall thar sáile

Béidh siad leisean, Franncaigh is Spáinnigh

Óglaigh armtha leis mar gharda

‘S bainfidh siad rinnce as éiricigh!

 

In the early 20th century, the song receives new verses by our nationalist poet Padraig Pearse and is often sung by IRA members and sympathisers, during the Easter Rising. It is also sung as a fast march during the Irish War of Independence.

Since 1916 it has also been known under various other titles, notably Dord na bhFiann (Call of the Fighters) or An Dord Féinne. The latter title is associated with Padraig Pearse in particular. This version is dedicated to the pirate or “Great Sea Warrior” Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley). She was a formidable power on the west coast of Ireland in the late 16th century.

Various Song Versions and History: http://chrsouchon.free.fr/orosedo.htm

 

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