We are happy to offer some special notes on all of the songs on the CD. Some of the text will be identical to that found on the CD, while there are special comments and further information added--some of which was not able to be printed due to size constraints. We hope you will enjoy this companion to your CD purchase. There are additional external links to other sites offering lyrics and guitar chords and tabulature for your convenience.
The true story of Fergal O'Hanlon is memorialized in this quiet song. He died in a barn just hours after suffering wounds in a 1956 attack on a British post in Brookeborough. The song says much about the struggles and betrayals surrounding the IRA. Brendan, at just eighteen, joins his father singing this ballad, and gives a youthful and haunting voice to young Fergal's lament.
The song's author, Dominic Behan, was the brother of the famous Irish author, Brendan Behan. The original words to this song include some very harsh comments for Eamon DeValera as the sympathies of the writer are squarely with General Michael Collins, shown at right.
We are often asked about the line referring to Quisling. Quisling was a Norwegian politician well known for his collaboration with the Germans, and betrayal of the allies in the Second World War.
Two songs actually came out of this raid, the other is "Sean South from Garryowen". He was the leader of the IRA Brigade that attacked a British arms depot just across the border in Northern Ireland. The British actually spotted the raiding party and were well-prepared to repel the attackers.
The barn in which the two died later of their wounds became a memorial to the struggle and was subsequently destroyed by the British. True to form, the Irish have since re-built it. The "Sean South From Garryowen" melody is taken from a well-known song of another of Ireland's fallen heroes: Roddy McCourley.
The Patriot Game
Come all you young rebels and list while I sing
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame
And it makes us all part of the Patriot Game.
My name is O'Hanlon, and I'm just gone sixteen
My home is in Monahan where I was weened
I've learned all my life, cruel England to blame
And so I'm a part of the Patriot Game
It's barely two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA
I'd read about heroes and I wanted the same
To play up my part in the Patriot Game
This island of ours has for long been half free
Six counties are under John Bull's tyranny
I gave up my boyhood to drill and to train
To play my own part in the Patriot Game
And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained and sold
I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those Quislings who sold out the Patriot Game.