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Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?

GUEST,Bigsciota 16 Mar 15 - 12:02 AM
Thompson 16 Mar 15 - 03:08 AM
FreddyHeadey 16 Mar 15 - 05:07 AM
Teribus 16 Mar 15 - 07:28 AM
Thompson 16 Mar 15 - 08:57 AM
FreddyHeadey 16 Mar 15 - 12:29 PM
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Subject: Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?
From: GUEST,Bigsciota
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 12:02 AM

Not normally a big fan of Loyalist songs (or many post-partition IRA songs, for that matter), but I heard this the other day and thought it's actually a decent song. Not particularly sectarian (besides a few references), very simple storytelling, and the last line hits home. Any ideas as to origins? All I can find are horribly recorded (and mostly MIDI filled) renditions on Youtube.

Billy Gray, Billy Gray will you not come to me
Bright light has turned to darkness, in this trench I cannot see
And my sight has just been shattered by the shell that blinded me
Fighting with the Armagh Brigade

For I remember when all my associates in arms
We gathered from towns all, our villages and farms
In answer to the echo of Carson's loud alarm
We formed up the Armagh Brigade

We took those smuggled rifles from off the Clyde Valley
To fight the South for England or whatever enemy
Who would bring us into bondage or deny our liberty
We marched with the Armagh Brigade

I've always been so puzzled and I cannot understand
Why we're fighting here in France and not in Ulsters land
And knowing England's promises are as firm as drifting sand
I don't believe a word they say

Now, when we charged that morning with a great and mighty yell
Right through the German trenches, how far I cannot tell
I prepared myself for heaven but I marched right into hell
Along with the Armagh Brigade

I hear the booming thunder and the stutter of the guns
I hear the angry screaming of Ulsters fallen sons
In this bloody slaughterhouse of the Battle of the Somme
I'm dying with the Armagh Brigade

For Ulster is my heritage and Ulster is my cause
This war it is futility, and its glory is a fraud
But I'm bleeding heavily and I must go to God
I'm leaving the Armagh Brigade.

Billy Gray, Billy Gray will you not come to me
I'm far away from my home, my wife and family
Will you come and speak some comfort and be a friend to me
If your not dead yet, Billy Gray


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Subject: RE: Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 03:08 AM

Nice song, bizarre logic -

a) To fight the South for England or whatever enemy
Who would bring us into bondage or deny our liberty

b) And knowing England's promises are as firm as drifting sand
I don't believe a word they say


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Subject: RE: Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 05:07 AM

The one on this page is a good rendition
hyms poetry songs

Very few songs on the sites this song is listed on semm to give any history or composer credits. Are they just assumed to be 'trad' I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 07:28 AM

The words given in the link provided by FreddyHeadey are:

"a) To fight the South OR England or whatever enemy
Who would bring us into bondage or deny our liberty

b) And knowing England's promises are as firm as drifting sand
I don't believe a word they say


Which makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 08:57 AM

Ah, thanks, Teribus, that makes more sense all right! Damned perfidious Albion/(&Erin)!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Armagh Brigade - Origins?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 12:29 PM

Do you recognise the singer on that YouTube Armagh Brigade ?


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