Tag Archives: Barleycorn


Who Dares To Speak of Easter Week?
Radio Rebel Gael’s Tribute
to the heroes of Easter week and all Irish freedom fighters throughout history…
In Dublin 98 years ago, a tiny band of Irish rebels and patriots took possession of the main post office. There, on Easter Monday, they proclaimed the birth of an Irish Republic and the end of England’s imperial rule. At the time the rising was unrealistic, had little support and was swiftly put down. Yet with vengeful ferocity, the British ordered the execution, one by one, of 15 rebel leaders, including a trade unionist, James Connolly, suffering from gangrened wounds, who had to be propped up in a chair to be shot.

When the grisly business was done, William Butler Yeats wrote, Ireland had

“changed, changed utterly: a terrible beauty is born.”

The victims themselves sensed that theirs was a blood sacrifice that foresaw rebirth and renewal, that their deaths might some day be seen as the secular incarnation of a sacred season. But the Easter Rising also proved to be a dress rehearsal as an empire fell and ordinary people entered and seized history.

His Name Was Connolly

featuring the best in Irish rebel folk and celtic-punk from Ireland and ‘across the broad Atlantic’

1.) The Foggy Dew- ATHENRYE (Dublin)

2.) Erin Go Bragh- THE WOLFE TONES (Dublin)

3.) Bright Star- Bobby Sands- as read by STEPHEN RAE

4.) Comrades In The Dark- THE PRODIGALS (New York)

5.) Freedom’s Sons- SHARKY DOYLES (Chicago)

6.) Connolly Was There- POL Mac ADAIM (Belfast)

7. Easter Time/Freedom’s Sons- BARLEYCORN (Belfast)

8.)Meet Me At The Pillar- DUBLIN CITY RAMBLERS

9.) Culture- THE REBEL HEARTS (Tipperary)

10.) The Dying Rebel- KATHLEEN LARGEY (Belfast)

11.) Citizen’s Army- RAY COLLINS (New York)

12.)Who Dares To Speak Of Easter Week?- BRENDAN BEHAN (Dublin)

13.) Met A Proud Man- GERRY T.MORAN (Norfolk/Dundalk)

14. Who Dares To Say- THE BATTERING RAM (Dublin)

15.) The Starry Plough- THE DRUIDS (Kildare)

16.When Will We See- THE DRUIDS (Kildare)

17.) The Rifles Of The I.R.A- ATHENRYE (Dublin)

18.) Provos Lullabye- THE WOLFHOUND (Belfast)

19.) Woods Of Drumboe- THE WOLFHOUND (Belfast)

20.) Guest Of The Queen- BRIAN UA BAOILL

21.) Bobby Sands- CLAYMORE (Glasgow)

22.) McVerry’s Men- BANJO BURKE (Kilkenny)

23.) Eamon Wright- ADELANTE (Coatbridge)

24.) 1916 Proclamation- CU CHULAINN

25.) Banna Strand- FLYING COLUMN (Belfast)

26.) The Rebel by Padraic Pearse- THE DUBLINERS

27.) Padraic Pearse- THE WOLFE TONES (Dublin)

28.) Follow Me Up To Carlow- BLOOD OR WHISKEY (Kildare)

29.) The Peeler And The Goat- NIAMH NI CHARRA (Killarney)

30.) Oro Se Do Bheath Abhaile- THE DUBLINERS

31.) Sean Larkin- THE IRISH BRIGADE (Tyrone)

32.) The Rhythm Of Time- BOBBY SANDS

33.) H Block Song- THE PLAYERS BRIGADE (Dublin)

34.) Ninety Miles from Dublin- POL Mac ADAIM

35.) Mise Eire- POL Mac ADAIM

36.) The Wind That Shakes The Barley- THE BATTERING RAM

37.) Boys Of The Old Brigade- EIRE OG (Glasgow)

38.) The Boys From Tamlaghtduff- CHRISTY MOORE (Kildare)

39.) The Rising- BRICK TOP BLAGGERS (California)

40.) Henry Joy (Faithful To The Last)- CIARAN MURPHY (Armagh)

41.) Who Fears To Speak Of Easter Week- DOMINIC BEHAN (Dublin)


“Had the Gaelic race never produced a scrap of literature, had our treasures of history and romance never had a being, had our Cormac’s, Keating’s and our O’Clery’s and Donnachadh Rua’s never written a line, these folk songs of ours would have been sufficient to prove for all time the glorious capabilities of our race.”

– Padraig Pearse

to find out more about the 1916 Easter Uprising you could try Wikipedia or the excellent site at Easter Rising 1916.

The 1916 Societies are committed to fostering and promoting Irish unity as set out in the 1916 Proclamation and their website is here.

Radio Rebel GaelContact Rory at Radio Rebel Gael at Facebook here


Paddy McGuigan

A tribute from the band The Irish Brigade to the Irish singer songwriter Paddy McGuigan who passed away recently on St Patrick’s Day following a short illness. He is survived by his wife Cecilia, a daughter, and two grandchildren.

Paddy McGuigan with the ‘Barleycorn’ along with ‘The Flying Column’ led the first cohort of Irish Republican music in the north of Ireland from the earliest days of ‘The Troubles…’. Where they led many were to follow but none were to surpass. The songs written by Paddy were an inspiration to Irish singers and groups all over the world and Paddy’s songs were, without doubt, a major influence on my own songs written for the Irish Brigade. Paddy’s songs were lyrical, melodic and direct to the point. They had the power to “fill our hearts and raise our spirits”. They were greats songs which have stood the test of time and can still be heard wherever the Irish gather all over the world.

The iconic ‘Men Behind the Wire’ (48 weeks in the Irish Charts, though banned by RTÉ) was a song that gave a boost to the morale of a people who, at that period in our history, felt deprived and downtrodden – a community that choose defiance rather than despair. Such songs can be seen as an accurate first hand reflection of the conditions at that time and as a commentary on social and community views throughout the troubles. Songs like ‘The Irish Solider Laddie’, ‘Freedom Walk’ and ‘Bring Them Home’ remain an essential part of any Ballad singer’s repertoire.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Paddy on a few occasions in the early eighties. The most memorable was on the night before Tyrone played Kerry in the All Ireland Final in 1986. Paddy joined us on the stage for a few numbers. He sang a song he had just written for the Tyrone team and presented it for us to record to celebrate the much hoped for victory. Needless to say, sadly, neither a victory nor the song was recorded!

Strange to note, I was talking to Kevin Manning from the legendary Wolfhound ballad group on Saturday the 15th of March. He joined us for a few songs in Bar32 in Luton. He spoke fondly of his memories of Paddy in the Early 70’s and how Paddy gave Wolfhound ‘The Boys of the Old Brigade’ to be their first record. Little did either of us think that just over 24 hours later, we would be hearing of his death.
Paddy Joe McGuigan passed away on the 17th of March 2014, on the feast of his namesake and Patron Saint of Ireland. There is an old belief that it is Saint Patrick, himself, who judges the Irish at The Golden Gates. If this is so, they will have been opened wide and the welcome, the music and the craic will have been out of this world!

Rest in peace Paddy, the legacy of your songs and music will live on forever.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Paddy McGuigan Wikipedia  Barleycorn Wikipedia

The Irish Brigade are one of Ireland’s foremost folk and traditional bands. They recently featured in the UK Top 40 Singles chart with the song ‘Roll Of Honour’ the fascinating story of which can be found here. To find them on Facebook go here

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