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Fair Galtee Mountains
Nonie Lynch
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded in the singer’s home, 2003

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Nonie Lynch

In the fair Galtee Mountains so far, far away,
I'll tell you a story that happened one day:
It’s about a young damsel, her age being sixteen,
She was sporting a banner, white, orange and green.

Shouting, “Up DeValera! and the rebels as well.
Independence for Ireland and England to hell!
Release of our prisoners,” quite plain to be seen,
Were the words on this banner, white, orange and green.

A bold Irish bobby being passing the way,
He admired this fair damsel with her colours so gay.
He paused, and he stared, and he jumped off his machine.
Oh, he meant for to capture this flag of Sinn Féin.

“Now, who’s DeValera?” says he with a smile.
“DeValera” she says, “is a Member for Clare.
And a bold Irish hero, as you may have seen,
And those are his colours: white, orange and green.”

“Will you give me that banner?” says he with a smile.
“If you give me that banner, you will do what is wise.
I will not then molest you, or do what is mean.
If you give me that banner, white, orange and green.”

“I’ll not give you this banner,” the maid she did say.
“Until your blood, and my blood, have both flown away.
See here, I’ve a pistol and that is not mean.
You must fight for this banner, white, orange and green.”

The bold bobby’s cheeks got as white as the wall,
He bid her farewell, and away he did go.
Saying “Where is the use, when a maid of sixteen
Has laid down her life for the cause of Sinn Féin.”

Come all you fair maidens on Erin’s green shore,
And pray for the fair one of sweet Galtee Mór.
And like her, keep fighting and soon shall be seen
A republic for Ireland, white, orange and green.

Conversation after the song between Nonie, Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie:
Jim: Where did that come from Nonie?
Nonie: That’s the other old song I learned in my very young days. It was the time the trouble was starting, you know, and the War of Independence was on, and the war before it was on, and the war against the English was on, and so forth. I really don’t know who composed the song.
Jim: Is it any harm to ask you what age you are, Nonie?
Nonie: I’m ninety-three, Jim. Time for me to go to bed and stay there, isn’t it? (Laughs)

“Also known as ‘The Flag of Sinn Fein’, Nonie said she learned this song when she was young - ‘at the time of the War of Independence, The Civil war, and all that’ – not long after it was written, in fact.”
Jim Carroll


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