Clare County Library
Songs of Clare
Home | Library Catalogue | Music of Clare | Photographic Collection | Maps | Folklore | Genealogy | History | Copyright | What's New

The Rineen Ambush
(Roud 5222)

Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and Depford, London
Recorded in London, 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Mikey Kelleher

Well attend you gallant Irishmen and listen for a while,
I’ll sing to you the praises of our boys from Erin’s Isle.
It’s all about an ambush I’ll have you to beware,
That happened in Rineen Hill, in a spot called County Clare.

Our boys they waited patiently with an eye both sharp and keen,
Waiting for the Black and Tans to come into Rineen.
Our scout at once he sighted them without the least delay,
And signalled to his comrades to get ready and prepare.

His comrade boys got ready without the least delay,
And signalled to their scout again to let them come their way.
The Black and Tans they came along in lorries, as you know,
And met our boys upon the road which caused them a great blow.

They fought upon the high road, man-to-man you know,
With shotguns and revolvers against armoured cars and so.
After the first reveille the machine gun it gave way
And got turned on the high road, which caused them a great delay.

The Black and Tans put up their hands and the Peelers too likewise,
When they saw the atermined faces that was on our Irish boys.
The scout jumped to six soldiers that looked to be so tall,
Saying, ‘Now you’ll get what you least expect from the bush behind the wall.’

The Black and Tans put up their hand to our boys for relief,
And in two or three seconds they were all gone off to sleep.
They then took twenty rifles and likewise a machine gun,
Saying, ‘Now we are ready for the re-enforcement yet to come.’

After an hour or so, the re-enforcement did arrive,
And the scout he gave his signal to his comrades to fire.
They fired their first reveille and with of their machine gun
And they burned up the lorries and bursted many of ‘em.

Now to conclude and finish, I think it should be right,
That all young-hearted Irishmen together should unite.
Together should they sympathise and do the best they can,
To have another ambush and they’ll hunt the Black and Tan.


"The Rineen Ambush took place on September 22, 1920, when a group of volunteers from the Mid-Clare I.R.A. ambushed a lorry transporting Auxiliaries and Black and Tans from Ennistymon. As far as we can ascertain, there were at least four different songs made on the ambush."
Jim Carroll

See also
The Rineen Ambush sung by Tom Lenihan

<< Songs of Clare