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Wylde Nept: Music & Lyrics

O'Donnel Abu

(Wylde Nept)
Melody by Joseph Haliday | Lyrics by Micheal McGann 1843 | Adapted by Jon Southwood

Red Hugh O’Donnell was abducted by the English after they got him drunk.  He was just a teenager at the time. He escaped in 1591 and returned to inspire a rebellion. Well, what would you do?

Proudly the note of the trumpet is sounding
Loudly the war cries arise on the gale
Fleetly the steed by Lough Swilly is bounding
To join the thick squadrons on Saimer’s green vale
On every mountaineer! Strangers to flight or fear!
Rush to the standard of dauntless Red Hugh!
Bonnacht and gallowglass throng from each mountain
Pass onward for Erin O’Donnell Abu
Princely O’Neil to our aid is advancing
With many a chieftan and warrior clan
A thousand proud steeds in his vanguard are prancing
‘neath borderers brave from the banks of the Bann
Many a heart shall quail under its coat of mail
Deeply the merciless foeman shall rue
When on his ears shall ring
Borne on the breeze’s wing
Tir Conwel’s dread war cry O’Donnell Abu!
Wildly o’er Desmond the war wolf is howling
Fearless the eagle sweeps over the plain
The fox in the streets of the city is prowling
And all who who scare them are banished or slain
On with O’Donnell then, fight the old fight again
Sons of Tir Conwal are valiant and true
Make the proud Saxon feel Erin’s avenging steel
Strike for your country O’Donnell Abu!