Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade

Traditional

“With a hole through his head by some enemy’s ball that ended his passion for glory….”

Noah Brooks

The beautiful “Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade” tells the story of the eager enlistment and stark end of a young recruit in the famous Irish Brigade. In Reunion, it is sung in the music hall footlights by a dapper song-and-dance man, his theatrical sentimentality played against the horrifying images and stories of a stunned soldier and wide-eyed nurse at the Battle of Antietam.

Lyrics

Says Pat to his mother, “It looks strange to see brothers fighting in such a queer manner.
But I’ll fight till I die, if I never get killed, for America’s bright, starry banner.”

Far away in the east was a dashing young blade,
And the song he was singin’ so gaily!
‘Twas honest Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade
And the song of the splintered shillelagh.

The morning soon broke and poor Paddy awoke–he found rebels to give satisfaction.
And the drummers were beating the devil’s sad tune–they were calling the boys into action!

Far away in the east was a dashing young blade,
And the song he was singin’ so gaily!
‘Twas honest Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade
And the song of the splintered shillelagh.

Sure, the day after battle the dead lay in heaps, and Pat Murphy lay bleeding and gory,
With a hole through his head by some enemy’s ball that ended his passion for glory.

Far away in the east was a dashing young blade,
And the song he was singin’ so gaily!
‘Twas honest Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade
And the song of the splintered shillelagh.

No more in the camp will his letters be read, or his song be heard singin’ so gaily!
For he died far away from the friends that he loved and far from the Land of Shillelagh.

Far away in the east was a dashing young blade,
And the song he was singin’ so gaily!
‘Twas honest Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade
And the song of the splintered shillelagh.

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