Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
December 22
Shan Van Vocht
Anonymous
 
          On Dec. 22, 1796, a French fleet, under the command of General Hoche, appeared off the coast of Ireland and cast anchor in Bantry Bay. It had been invited over by Wolfe Tone to assist in the struggle for the separation of Ireland from English rule. A terrific storm came up, accompanied by a dense fog so that the expedition was unable to land and the ships were obliged to seek safety in the open sea.

O! the French are on the say,
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;
The French are on the say,
  Says the Shan Van Vocht!
O! the French are in the bay;        5
They’ll be here without delay,
And the Orange will decay,
  Says the Shan Van Vocht.
    O! the French are in the bay.
    They’ll be here by break of day,        10
    And the Orange will decay,
      Says the Shan Van Vocht.
 
And where will they have their camp?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;
Where will they have their camp?        15
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;
On the Currach of Kildare;
The boys they will be there
With their pikes in good repair,
  Says the Shan Van Vocht.        20
    To the Currach of Kildare
    The boys they will repair,
    And Lord Edward will be there,
      Says the Shan Van Vocht.
 
Then what will the yeoman do?        25
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;
What will the yeomen do?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;
What should the yeomen do,
But throw off the Red and Blue,        30
And swear that they’ll be true
  To the Shan Van Vocht?
    What should the yeomen do,
    But throw off the Red and Blue,
    And swear that they’ll be true        35
      To the Shan Van Vocht!
 
And what color will they wear?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;
What color will they wear?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;        40
What color should be seen,
Where our fathers’ homes have been,
But our own immortal Green?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht.
    What color should be seen,        45
    Where our fathers’ homes have been,
    But our own immortal Green?
      Says the Shan Van Vocht.
 
And will Ireland then be free?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht;        50
Will Ireland then be free?
  Says the Shan Van Vocht!
Yes! Ireland shall be free,
From the centre to the sea;
Then hurra! for Liberty!        55
  Says the Shan Van Vocht.
    Yes! Ireland shall be free,
    From the centre to the sea;
    Then hurra! for Liberty!
      Says the Shan Van Vocht.        60
 
 
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