9TEEN16TEEN: A song that could have been sung 78 years ago …

It’s March 23, Easter Sunday, in the year of 1916. A smoky pub in the centre of Dublin city, bursting with Irish volunteers and crown haters, the scent of men’s sweat and stout medicine; tense anticipation is in the air. Schoolmaster and legend-to-be Patrick Pearse is cutting his way through the underground crowd, accompanied by Gaelic murmur.

Pearse’s freshly thwarted demonstration of Irish resistance to British oppression for this very day is still eating away at him, but he will not let his supporters see or feel his disappointment. He is determined to make a stand against the British and their century-long occupation of Ireland, Plan B must kick in, and now’s the crucial moment, it’s giving up or “now more than ever”.

He climbs the pub’s small stage, pint and hope in hand, to address the crowd.

And this is the song he never sung. But he could have, in this very moment, and maybe he or someone else did, who knows. The song about the Easter Rising of 1916 that was never recorded, lost in the fire fight of history, never recited, forgotten until today. The song that helped mobilise the demoralised debris. The song that summed up centuries of suffering into five minutes, that brought the pub’s atmosphere to the boil. The story song that was the final spark needed to light the historical Easter bonfire, flames enough to engrave freedom as something indeed achievable into the Irish soul. A fire that lasted for only six days, but whose smoke signals reached out years into the future, forming silhouettes of an independent Ireland, the Eire that was officially constituted in 1937.

These are the improbable song’s lyrics. It could have been called “9TEEN6TEEN”:

…………….

“It’s been a thousand years and it’s so hard to tell,

More than a million tears though I should know it well.

Will anybody tell me when it did start?

Well, in fact it don’t mind as it’s been god-damn hard.

They came across the sea with a plan in their head,

And at its open end we would surely be dead.

Tried to take away our pride and annex our land,

But they never realised how we’d make our stand.

And now we’ll rise, we’re gonna rise at Easter!

We’re gonna rise, and we will make the whole world see!

We’re gonna rise, we’re gonna rise at Easter,

Cause we’re sick of all the tyranny and greed!

They took all we had, much more than we could bear,

It won’t happen again, this to you all I swear.

No more rapin’ our wives, mutilatin’ our kids

By now the only tongue they speak is the row of our fists!

So many battles won, so many children lost,

Can’t you feel a shudder in your heart rehearsing this cost.

So don’t you tell me nothing ‘bout no two in the bush,

Cause it can’t get any worse, come out and make a rush.

Just come and rise, come on and rise with me at Easter!

We’re gonna rise, and we will make the whole world see!

We’re gonna rise, come on and rise with me at Easter,

Cause we’re sick of all the tyranny and greed!

We tried the peaceful way, it only led them astray,

Out to the wilderness that reappears every day.

What was believable once is unbelievable now,

So now I give a fuck for anything they say.

We’ll chop the bloody hands that tried to kill our will,

And use them in return to show we’re living still.

So come on and chant will me the song that we all know

Cause by the time the sun will rise it will be time to go!

Time to rise, we’re gonna rise at Easter!

We’re gonna rise, rise and make the whole world see!

Come out and rise, we’re gonna rise at Easter,

Cause we’re sick of all the tyranny,

Sick of all the tyranny,

Sick of all the tyranny and greed!”

………………..

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

And: Cheers down the Hatch!

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