Dan Curley

Sung by Jerry O’Reilly

image of Jerry O’Reilly

sung by
Jerry O’Reilly
(Cullerlie 2007)

image of CD cover of Jerry O’Reilly

CDs available

On the eighteenth of May for my recreation,
By the banks of the Liffey I chanced for to stray,
The green fields and meadows with flowers were spangled,
The birds sweetly sang and the lambs they did play
I spied a young woman all dressed in deep mourning,
A babe by her bosom she tenderly bore,
She cried with emotion alas your dear father,
“My husband Dan Curley I’ll see him no more”
I stepped right up to her, says I: “My dear woman,
You seem overburdened with sorrow and woe,
Has some nasty landlord to you been cruel,
The cause of your sorrow I’d like for to know”
“Kind sir,” she replied, “The truth I will tell you,
My bosom is wrecked and my head almost bored,
For the Phoenix Park murders my husband has suffered,
And now in this wide world I’ll see him no more”
“James Carey that false hearted traitor of Ireland,
To gain a reward informer he turned,
By informing on others he escaped from the gallows,
My husband Dan Curley I’ll see him no more”
“On the eighteenth of May by the Phoenix Park murders,
Lord Cavendish and Bourke lay all in their gore,
’Twas by Carey’s advice these crimes were committed,
My husband Dan Curley I’ll see him no more”
“May he be evicted may his wife be a widow,
May his children turn wanderers from Erin’s green shore,
May the curse of the widow and orphan stay on him,
My husband Dan Curley I’ll see him no more”
“He’s gone from this world just a short while before me,
I hope we’ll rejoin on the next happy shore,
Where the angels of glory they sing God’s praises,
And I’ll meet my Dan Curley and we’ll part no more”

On the 6th of May 1882 the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish and the under secretary T.H. Bourke were assassinated on the main road of the Phoenix Park by a group of breakaway members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood called ‘The Invincibles.’

They escaped but were later captured because of the information supplied by one of their number James Carey.

Dan Curley was one of ‘The Invincibles’ who was hanged in Kilmainham Jail.

Jimmy McBride of Inishowen heard me sing another song about the incident and very kindly gave me the words of this song, which he had gotten from his father who learnt it in Glasgow in his youth.

I am indebted to Jimmy for entrusting the song to me. I hope I do it justice.

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Folk Leads Publications 2008