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Peter Crowley
(Roud 22756)
Unnamed singer
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded in the 1960s

Carroll Mackenzie Collection


As I rambled out one evening, all in the month of June,
I strayed into an old churchyard to view a noble tomb.
I overheard an old man pray as the tears rolled from his eyes,
And it’s ‘neath that cold, cold, clay today, poor Peter Crowley lies.

And the grave where Peter Crowley lies, o'er it the grass grows green,
And underneath poor Peter sleeps because he loved the green.
It grieves my heart to see you there, a hero once in bloom,
But untimely death has brought you here to fill a silent tomb.

Oh Crowley, oh Crowley come tell to me the truth.
Who went along that night with you, to Columbia’s [Kilcloney’s] this lonely one?
Who stood beside that brave old oak and fired that signal gun?
Who fought and died for Ireland’s rights, was Crowley’s only son.

So fare thee well young Crowley, so fare thee well again.
It’s many the mile we shouldered you, through storm and through gale.
It’s many the mile we shouldered you, a storín gheal mo chroí,
Because you were a Fenian boy and died for liberty.


“Peter O'Neill Crowley (1832-1867) was born on the 23d May, 1832, at Ballymacoda, in the county of Cork. His father was a respectable farmer and his mother was the niece of Father Peter O'Neill who, flogged in the City of Cork in the year 1798, was afterwards sentenced to transportation for life for his alleged complicity in the rebellion of that year. While yet young, Peter Crowley's father died and his grand uncle, the priest, who had been liberated from jail after five years' incarceration, took the boy under his care and, at the time of his death, directed that due attention should be paid to educate him in all the modern branches of education. Crowley, a farmer, led a successful raid on Knockadoon coastguard station during the Fenian rising in 1867. He was on the run for several weeks with Captain McClure and Edward Kelly. On Sunday, 31 March, soldiers surrounded their hiding place in Kilcloney Wood, Co. Tipperary. Concealment was difficult as the woods had recently been thinned. Wounded in the engagement, Crowley died in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, where his wounds were being attended to. His capture is referred to in another song ‘Erin’s Lovely Lee’ – “And I can tell where Crowley fell, ‘twas in Kilcloney Wood.”
Jim Carroll

See also
Peter Crowley sung by Vincie Boyle

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