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Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?

22 Dec 96 - 06:35 PM (#854)
Subject: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: iclout@freenet.npiec.on.ca

Would anyone know the words to this very old song about an Irish patriot who is about to be executed, in England, I believe and he asks the priest 'shall my soul pass thru old Ireland?


22 Dec 96 - 06:46 PM (#855)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: Bill Foster

I don't know the words, but I believe the song for which you're looking is called "Kevin Barry." There is a variation (an adaptation) highlighting a southern soldier in the Civil War, and the the burden of the chorus is "Will my Soul pass through the southland. . ." Good Luck


23 Dec 96 - 05:15 PM (#865)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: Susan of DT

There is a version of Kevin Barry in the database, but it does not have the line in question.


02 Jan 97 - 08:50 AM (#1028)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: Tim Rossiter

This song is sung with the same air as Kevin Barry but concerns an un-named young rebel asking the priest if his soul can pass thru Ireland on its way to heaven. I have a tape of this somewhere and will look for it. I'll get back to you.


06 Jan 97 - 10:04 AM (#1136)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: Tim Rossiter

Here is the song as I gleaned it from a bad tape. I am not sure about the word "lend" in the last stanza. Maybe someone can help. In a dreary British prison where an Irish rebel lay. By his side a priest waits standing were his soul to pass away. As he gently murmurs father, the priest takes him by the hand. Father tell me if I die shall my soul pass thru Ireland. (cho) Shall my soul pass thru old Ireland pass thru Cork city grand. Shall I see the old Cathedral where Saint Patrick made his stand. Shall I see the little chapel where I placed my heart in hand. Father tell me when I die shall my soul pass thru Ireland.

Was for loving dear old Ireland in this prison cell I lie. Was for loving dear old Ireland in this foriegn land I die. When you see my little daughter won't you make her understand. Father tell me if I die shall my soul pass thru Ireland. (cho) With his soul pure as a lily and his body sanctified. In that dreary British prison our brave Irish rebel died. Prayed the priest his whish be granted as his blessing he did . Father grant this brave man's wish may his soul pass thru Ireland. (cho)


06 Jan 97 - 10:10 AM (#1137)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: Tim Rossiter

I put the word "lend" in angle brackets and it seems to have been lost in the reformatting. They second to last sentence should read; Prayed the priest his whish be granted as his blessing he did lend.


07 Jan 97 - 12:18 AM (#1174)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: dick greenhaus

Hi- Thanx. I'll try to dig up the Civil War (U.S.) version. dg


07 Jan 97 - 02:03 AM (#1183)
Subject: Lyr Add: SHALL MY SOUL PASS THROUGH OLD IRELAND?
From: Bo Vandenberg

I have a CD "The very Best of Irish Rebel Songs" sung by "the Jolly Beggarmen" Fiesta records 1988. It only has the first and last verse of the song.

In a dreary Brixton prison where an Irish rebel lay
By his side the priest was standing ere his soul should pass away
And he faintly murmured father, as he clasped him by the hand.
Tell me this before I die, shall my soul pass through Ireland.

(CHORUS) Shall my soul pass through old Ireland pass through Cork brave city grand.
Shall I see the old Cathedral where Saint Patrick took a stand.
Shall I see the little chapel where I pledged my heart and hand.
Tell me this before I die, shall my soul pass through Ireland.

With his heart pure as a lily and his body sanctified.
In that dreary British prison our brave Irish rebel died.
Prayed the priest that wish be granted as a blessing raised his hand
Father grant this brave man's wish, may his soul pass through Ireland. (cho)

>I like the chorus "pledged" better than placed, and some of the words are more 'normal'. It is undoubtedly a modern trad remake. The CD doesn't even list a source!

hope it helps, BO.


22 Jan 97 - 02:58 PM (#1563)
Subject: Lyr Add: WILL MY SOUL PASS THROUGH THE SOUTHLAND
From: wfoster@unanov.una.edu [Bill Foster]

Dick: here is the Civil War version as The Foster Family recorded it:

In a dreary Yankee prison, a rebel soldier lay.
By his side there stood a parson, ere his soul should pass away;
And he gently whispered "Parson," as he clutched him by the hand--
"Oh, parson, tell me quickly: will my soul pass through the Southland?"

"Will my soul pass through the Southland, over old Virginia grand?
Will I see the hills of Georgia and the green fields of Alabam'?
Will I see that little church-house where I pledged my heart and hand?
Oh, parson, tell me quickly: will my soul pass through the Southland?

"'Twas for lovin' dear old Dixie, in this dreary cell I lie--
'Twas for lovin' dear old Dixie, in this northern state I die.
Will you see my little daughter? Will you make her understand?
Oh, parson, tell me quickly: will my soul pass through the Southland?

And the Rebel soldier died.

(Ends with the first eleven notes of "Dixie" played softly and slowly by mandolin and/or guitar)


22 Jan 97 - 09:32 PM (#1580)
Subject: RE: Shall My Soul Pass Thru Old Ireland?
From: dick greenhaus

Hi- thanx y'all this sort of thing is fun, innit? dick


29 Jan 97 - 10:25 PM (#1736)
Subject: Lyr Add: SHALL MY SOUL PASS THROUGH IRELAND?
From: Bobby O'Brien

This song is on the following album: "One of the Old Brigade" Pat Daly with Frank Fitzgerald's Band on Rego Irish Records, Garden City NY telephone 516-328-7800. (Catalogue #R-4000) and here are the lyrics:

In a dreary British prison where an Irish rebel lay,
By his side a priest was standing ere his soul should pass away,
And he faintly murmured "Father" as he clasped him by the hand,
"Tell me this before I die: shall my soul pass through Ireland?

CHORUS: "Shall my soul pass through old Ireland, pass through Cork's old city strand?
Shall I see the old cathedral where St. Patrick took his stand?
Shall I see the little chapel where I pledged my heart in hand?
Tell me this before you leave me: shall my soul pass through Ireland?

"'Twas for loving dear old Ireland in the prison cell I lie.
'Twas for loving dear old Ireland in this foreign land I die.
Will you meet my little daughter? Will you make her understand?
Father, tell me if you can: shall my soul pass through Ireland?"

With his heart kill-ress-a-lenee and his body sanctified,
In that dreary British prison a brave Irish rebel died.
Prayed the priest "that wish be granted" as in blessing raised his hand
"Father, grant this brave man's wish. Let his soul pass through Ireland."

(Repeat chorus)

I have over 50,000 Irish songs
E-mail me at: kincasslagh@worldnet.att.net


22 Sep 10 - 02:55 PM (#2991627)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?
From: GUEST,Jan Schneider

the name of the song is
LEGEND OF A REBEL SOLDIER (lyrics found online)


22 Sep 10 - 06:24 PM (#2991773)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?
From: Jim Carroll

The song commemorates the death of Terence McSweeney, Lord Mayor of Cork, who died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison in 1920
Jim Carroll


22 Sep 10 - 11:05 PM (#2991946)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?
From: Effsee

Thank you Jim. He was the Lord Mayor of Cork if memory serves.


23 Sep 10 - 02:07 AM (#2991988)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?
From: Seamus Kennedy

And the bluegrass version was written by the late Charlie Moore, if memory serves, with the most famous version being that of Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen.

Charlie Moore made a few minor changes to the lyrics and set the song about Terence McSweeney in the American Civil War.


23 Sep 10 - 07:20 AM (#2992123)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?
From: Desi C

The tune is much the same as Kevin Barry but it's not a version, you'll find the lyrics and chords on www.unitedirelandtripod.ie hundreds of other Irish songs there too

Desi C


06 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM (#3372920)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland?
From: GUEST, James Molloy

This song clearly evolved from Bingen On The Rhine; composed by
Caroline Norton 1808-1877 which deals with a dying German
soldier of the French Foreign Legion, mortally wounded in Algiers.
The Ballad was first published 27th July 1867. Caroline Norton was
the granddaughter of Dublin born dramatist Richard Brinsley
Sheridan, born at 12 Dorset Street in 1751. Kevin Barry is sung to
the same air. Kevin Barry has been recorded by Paul Robeson, Lonnie
Donegan and performed live by Leonard Cohen.I was once requested to
sing Kevin Barry at an Irish snooker tournament, a little into the
first verse Dennis Taylor black-balled me and I was obliged to
accept his cue.
                           God Bless all you mudcatter,
                                              James Molloy.
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