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Quiz about Irish Rebel Songs
Quiz about Irish Rebel Songs

Irish Rebel Songs Trivia Quiz


I like to hang out in bars, and Irish bars are the best, so it's natural that I've learned a few Irish rebel songs. See if you can identify these famous tunes.

A multiple-choice quiz by daver852. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
daver852
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
317,257
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
10 / 15
Plays
598
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 85 (8/15), londoneye98 (7/15), Guest 94 (15/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. The first major rebellion in Ireland in modern times began in County Wexford in 1798. One of its leaders was a Catholic priest, Father John Murphy. Which song about Father Murphy contains these lines: "Look out for hirelings, King George of England / Search every kingdom that breeds a slave . . .?" Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. The Wexford rebellion is the subject of many tunes. Robert Dwyer Joyce wrote a song that begins: "I sat within a valley green, I sat me with my true love / My sad heart strove to choose between, the old love and the new love." What was is the name of this famous song? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. The Wexford rebellion soon spread to the north and west of Ireland. "Oh, see the fleet-foot hosts of men, who speed with faces wan / From farmstead and from fisher's cot, along the banks of Bann." Who is the hero of this rousing song? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. In August, 1798 a French invasion force under the command of General Jean Humbert landed in County Mayo. What is the name of the song commemorating this event that begins: "When you honor in song and in story, the names of the patriot men / Whose valor has covered with glory, full many a mountain and glen?" Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. Only five years after the Rebellion of 1798 was crushed, the Irish launched another bid for freedom in 1803. Which of these songs honors the leader of the 1803 rising? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. This song, also known as "Down By the Glenside," begins: "'Twas down by the glenside, I met an old woman / She was picking young nettles, and she scarce saw me coming / I listened a while to the song she was humming . . ." What is the name of this song, which honors the men who led a rebellion against England in 1867? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. The Irish War of Independence dates from the Easter Rebellion of 1916. One of the best songs commemorating this crucial event in Irish history begins: "It was down the glen one Easter morn, to a city fair rode I / And Ireland's lines of marching men in their squadrons passed me by . . ." What is the name of this haunting ballad? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. One of the saddest stories to come out of the Easter Rebellion is that of Joseph Mary Plunkett. Just before he was executed, he married his sweetheart in the prison chapel. Frank and Sean O'Meara wrote a beautiful and touching song about her. What was her name? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. The Irish War of Independence was the source of many rousing songs. One begins: "From east to west, from north to south / They tried to hunt the column out . . ." What is the name of this song, that celebrates the deeds of one of Ireland's most famous guerrilla leaders? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Not all Irish rebel songs are sad or violent. Some are actually quite funny. One song (based on a true story) tells the tale of some IRA men who needed transportation. It begins "Twas down by Brannigan's corner, one morning I did stray / I met a fellow rebel, and to me he did say . . ." What is the name of this song, written by Willie Gillespie? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. All countries need a national anthem. What song was officially adopted as Ireland's national anthem in 1926? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. "Come listen all you true men to my simple rhyme / For it tells of a young man, cut off in his prime / A soldier and a statesman, who laid down the law / And died by the roadside in lone Beal na mBlath." Which Irish rebel is this song about? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. "In Mountjoy Gaol, one Monday morning / High upon the gallows tree / _______ gave his young life / For the cause of liberty." Whose name goes in the blank? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. One of my favorite songs begins: "Twas the feast of St. Patrick, at the dawn of the day / The hills of Tyrconnell stood somber and gray / The first light of morning illumined the sky / As four Irish heroes were led forth to die." What song recounts the death of four anti-Treaty soldiers in County Donegal in March, 1923? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Dominic Behan wrote this song about a young I.R.A. soldier, Feargal O'Hanlon, who was killed on New Year's Day, 1957 in an attack on a Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh. Tom Clancy wrote a book that refers to this song. What is it? Hint



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Jun 27 2024 : Guest 85: 8/15
May 18 2024 : londoneye98: 7/15
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first major rebellion in Ireland in modern times began in County Wexford in 1798. One of its leaders was a Catholic priest, Father John Murphy. Which song about Father Murphy contains these lines: "Look out for hirelings, King George of England / Search every kingdom that breeds a slave . . .?"

Answer: Boolavogue

Father John Murphy was born in 1753. In 1798 he was the parish priest at Boolavogue, a small town in County Wexford. Initially opposed to the rebellion, he changed his mind when the local militia began burning the homes of suspected rebels and committing other atrocities.

After a series of victories over the British, the rebels were defeated at the Battle of Vinegar Hill. He was captured by a party of militia at Tullow, County Carlow on July 2, 1798. Father Murphy was tortured, stripped naked, flogged and hanged.

After he was dead, his head was cut off and placed upon a pike and his body was burned in a barrel of tar. The "hirelings" mentioned in the songs were Hessians, German mercenaries hired by the British to fight in many of their wars. Father Murphy is still remembered as a great hero.

The song ends: "God grant you glory, brave Father Murphy / And open Heaven to all your men / The cause that called you may call tomorrow / In another fight for the Green again."
2. The Wexford rebellion is the subject of many tunes. Robert Dwyer Joyce wrote a song that begins: "I sat within a valley green, I sat me with my true love / My sad heart strove to choose between, the old love and the new love." What was is the name of this famous song?

Answer: The Wind That Shakes the Barley

"The old for her, the new that made / Me think on Ireland dearly / While soft the wind blew down the glen / And shook the golden barley." This song was written by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830 - 1883). The title of this song was used as the title of an excellent movie about the Irish Civil War released in 2006.

The song tells the story of a young Irishman whose sweetheart is killed by the British, and his quest for revenge.
3. The Wexford rebellion soon spread to the north and west of Ireland. "Oh, see the fleet-foot hosts of men, who speed with faces wan / From farmstead and from fisher's cot, along the banks of Bann." Who is the hero of this rousing song?

Answer: Roddy McCorley

Contrary to popular belief, the struggle for Irish independence has not been a sectarian conflict of Catholic versus Protestant. Many of Ireland's greatest heroes, including the subject of this song, were Protestant. Roddy McCorley was a member of the United Irishmen, a group that admitted members of all faiths.

He took part in the fighting in the town of Antrim. He then remained on the run for two years until he was betrayed by an informer. He was executed on February 28, 1800. This song was written by a woman, Anna Johnston (1866 - 1902), who used the pen name Ethna Carberry.

It has been recorded by countless artists, including Shane McGowan and the Popes.
4. In August, 1798 a French invasion force under the command of General Jean Humbert landed in County Mayo. What is the name of the song commemorating this event that begins: "When you honor in song and in story, the names of the patriot men / Whose valor has covered with glory, full many a mountain and glen?"

Answer: The Men of the West

"Forget not the boys of the heather / Who rallied their bravest and best / When Ireland was broken in Wexford / And looked for revenge in the West."

On August 22, 1798 a French invasion force of 1,000 French troops landed at Kilcummin, County Mayo. After some initial successes, including the defeat of a much larger English force at Castlebar, the French were defeated and and surrendered to the British on September 8. While the French prisoners were exchanged and repatriated to France, hundreds of their Irish allies were imprisoned and hanged. There is a fine novel about these events by Thomas Flanagan titled "The Year of the French."
5. Only five years after the Rebellion of 1798 was crushed, the Irish launched another bid for freedom in 1803. Which of these songs honors the leader of the 1803 rising?

Answer: Bold Robert Emmet

"Bold Robert Emmet's the darling of Erin / Bold Robert Emmet will die with a smile / Soon I will show them that I am no coward / A hero I lived, and a hero I'll die."

Ireland had enjoyed a brief period of self-government beginning in 1782. Following the Rebellion of 1798, however, the English government decided that it would be safer to govern Ireland from London. The "Act of Union" was passed in 1800, and on January 1, 1801 the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" came into being. The Union was very unpopular in Ireland, and was accomplished only by wholesale bribery of members of the Irish parliament.

On July 23, 1803 a young Protestant member of the United Irishmen named Robert Emmet and a handful of followers attempted to seize Dublin Castle. The rebellion was a dismal failure from a military standpoint, but Robert Emmet became a hero to subsequent Irish revolutionaries. He was tried and found guilty of treason on September 19, and was sentenced to be "hanged, drawn and quartered," the last person in the British Isles to receive this barbaric punishment. After he had been sentenced, he gave his famous "Speech From the Dock," which contains the words: "When my country takes her place among the nations of the Earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written." Emmet was hanged on September 20, 1803, and after death his corpse was decapitated. The present location of his body is unknown.
6. This song, also known as "Down By the Glenside," begins: "'Twas down by the glenside, I met an old woman / She was picking young nettles, and she scarce saw me coming / I listened a while to the song she was humming . . ." What is the name of this song, which honors the men who led a rebellion against England in 1867?

Answer: The Bold Fenian Men

"Glory, O! Glory, O! To the Bold Fenian Men."

The term "Fenian" first referred to members of the Fenian Brotherhood, a fraternal organization founded in the United States by John O'Mahoney in 1858. It's name is taken from the "Fianna," a group of warriors led by the legendary Irish leader Finn McCool. It eventually came to be applied members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), a secret society dedicated to securing Irish independence. The IRB launched a rebellion in 1867, but it was easily suppressed by British authorities. Many Fenian leaders were transported to Australia or escaped to America. The Fenians even attempted several invasions of Canada in the 1860's and 1870's. This song was written by Peadar Kearney (1883 - 1942).
7. The Irish War of Independence dates from the Easter Rebellion of 1916. One of the best songs commemorating this crucial event in Irish history begins: "It was down the glen one Easter morn, to a city fair rode I / And Ireland's lines of marching men in their squadrons passed me by . . ." What is the name of this haunting ballad?

Answer: The Foggy Dew

On April 24, 1916 a band of approximately 1,000 Irish volunteers led by school teacher Padraig Pearse proclaimed an Irish Republic and seized control of the Post Office and other key buildings in Dublin. After a week of fierce fighting, in which they were outnumbered 20 to 1 by British troops, the rebels finally surrendered on April 30th. British retaliation was swift and brutal. All seven signatories of the Irish Declaration of Independence, the "Poblacht Na hEireann," were executed, along with seven others in Dublin and two elsewhere. James Connolly, leader of the Irish Citizen Army, was so badly wounded that he was unable to stand to face his firing squad.

The British tied him to a chair and shot him anyway. The executions did much to turn public opinion, which had been against the rebels, to supporting the cause of independence.
8. One of the saddest stories to come out of the Easter Rebellion is that of Joseph Mary Plunkett. Just before he was executed, he married his sweetheart in the prison chapel. Frank and Sean O'Meara wrote a beautiful and touching song about her. What was her name?

Answer: Grace

"Grace, just hold me in your arms, and let this moment linger / They'll take me out at dawn, and I will die / With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger / There won't be time to share our love, so we must say goodbye."

Joseph Mary Plunkett was a poet and journalist. He suffered ill health all his life, and was probably dying of tuberculosis at the time of the Easter Rebellion. He was recovering from an operation on his neck when the fighting broke out, but he joined his fellow rebels at the General Post Office, although he could not take an active part in the fighting due to his illness. He was allowed to marry his fiancee, Grace Gifford, in the chapel at Kilmainham Gaol, although he was kept in handcuffs and guarded by twenty British soldiers with fixed bayonets during the ceremony. The newlyweds were allowed only ten minutes together, in the presence of a British officer, before his execution. Joseph Mary Plunkett was only 28 years old when he was executed on May 4, 1916; Grace Plunkett never remarried.
9. The Irish War of Independence was the source of many rousing songs. One begins: "From east to west, from north to south / They tried to hunt the column out . . ." What is the name of this song, that celebrates the deeds of one of Ireland's most famous guerrilla leaders?

Answer: Barry's Column

"But the Tans were forced to go without / The boys of Barry's Column."

Tom Barry (1897 - 1980) was one of the Irish Republican Army's most famous leaders during the Irish War of Independence. He was noted for his "flying column," a small, mobile force that struck quickly and then dispersed. The idea of the flying column was developed by the Boers during their wars with Britain, and was adopted by the IRA as a means of dealing with the better armed and numerically superior British forces.

In addition to regular British army troops, and the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the British also recruited WWI veterans to serve in Ireland. The RIC Reserve Force was known as the "Black and Tans," due to their uniforms, which consisted of dark tunics and khaki trousers. The RIC Auxiliary Division, or Auxies, was comprised solely of former British officers. Both groups were guilty of innumerable atrocities during the war, but the Auxies were probably the worse of the two. On November 28, 1920, Barry's Column ambushed an Auxie patrol near the village of Kilmichael, County Cork. Only one of the Auxies, badly wounded, managed to escape. In March, 1921 Barry's Column of 104 men was surrounded by 1300 British troops at Crossbarry, County Cork. Barry managed to escape, losing only three men, while killing ten of the enemy. He wrote an account of his adventures called "Guerrilla Days In Ireland." Unlike many of the IRA's leaders of this period, Barry lived to a ripe old age.
10. Not all Irish rebel songs are sad or violent. Some are actually quite funny. One song (based on a true story) tells the tale of some IRA men who needed transportation. It begins "Twas down by Brannigan's corner, one morning I did stray / I met a fellow rebel, and to me he did say . . ." What is the name of this song, written by Willie Gillespie?

Answer: Johnson's Motor Car

"We have orders from our captain to assemble at Drumbar / But how are we to get there without a motor car?"

During the Irish War of Independence, a local IRA leader in County Donegal needed an automobile to transport his men to a rendezvous in a distant town. He went into the Post Office in the village of Cloghan, and sent a telegram to a Dr. Johnston in Stranolar, asking him to come quickly to attend to a Mrs. Boyle, who lived near Reelin Bridge. When the doctor came to the bridge, he found the road barricaded, and his car was seized by the IRA. Willie Gillespie (1883 - 1967), who lived in nearby Ballybofey, wrote a song about the incident. The song was originally called "Johnston's Motor Car," but the lyrics have been altered almost beyond recognition over the years. The story, however, remains essentially the same.
11. All countries need a national anthem. What song was officially adopted as Ireland's national anthem in 1926?

Answer: The Soldier's Song

The Irish Free State had no national anthem for the first few years of its existence, although Thomas Moore's "Let Erin Remember" was sometimes played at state functions. On July 12, 1926 the Executive Council adopted "The Soldier's Song" as Ireland's national anthem.

In many ways, it was a strange choice. The song (in Irish,"Amhran na bhFiann"), was written - in English - by Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney in 1907, and translated into Irish by Liam O'Rinn in 1923. The song is usually sung in Irish nowadays, and usually only the chorus. At some athletic events where players from the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland compete on the same team, the song "Ireland's Call" is used. Many people have voiced the opinion that "The Soldier's Song" is not much of a tune; the late Frank MacDermot said "From both a literary and musical point of view . . .I think we could have done a lot better."
12. "Come listen all you true men to my simple rhyme / For it tells of a young man, cut off in his prime / A soldier and a statesman, who laid down the law / And died by the roadside in lone Beal na mBlath." Which Irish rebel is this song about?

Answer: Michael Collins

Michael Collins is perhaps best known for negotiating the Anglo-Irish Treaty with Great Britain that led to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. The treaty was very controversial, and led to the Irish Civil War (1922-23). Collins was killed in an ambush by by anti-Treaty forces near the village of Beal na mBlath in County Cork on August 22, 1922.

He is the subject of an entertaining (but historically flawed) film, "Michael Collins," starring Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts. A better film, "The Treaty," was made for Irish television in 1991, starring Brendan Gleeson as Collins, but it is almost impossible to find in the United States.
13. "In Mountjoy Gaol, one Monday morning / High upon the gallows tree / _______ gave his young life / For the cause of liberty." Whose name goes in the blank?

Answer: Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry was an 18 year-old medical student when, on September 20, 1920, he took part in an attack on a British army truck. Three soldiers were killed. Barry's gun jammed, and he was captured. He was charged with the murder of Private Harold Washington. At the trial it was proven that he had not fired the fatal shot (his gun was of a different caliber than the bullets that killed Washington), but he was sentenced to death anyway. Despite numerous pleas for clemency, he was hanged on November 1, 1920.

Besides his young age, there are many reasons why Barry is regarded as a hero. He was the first person to be executed by the British during the Irish War of Independence. There is credible evidence that he was tortured prior to his execution in an attempt to get him to inform on his comrades; he refused. And he showed extraordinary bravery on his way to the gallows. On October 14, 2001, Barry's remains were removed from Mountjoy Prison, and he was given a state funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.
14. One of my favorite songs begins: "Twas the feast of St. Patrick, at the dawn of the day / The hills of Tyrconnell stood somber and gray / The first light of morning illumined the sky / As four Irish heroes were led forth to die." What song recounts the death of four anti-Treaty soldiers in County Donegal in March, 1923?

Answer: The Woods of Drumboe

The Irish Civil War is one of the saddest periods in Irish history. Many of those who had fought in the War of Independence refused to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty that established the Irish Free State. The main reasons for rejecting the treaty were that it authorized the partition of Ireland and it called for an Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown.

The Irish Free State government was relentless in hunting down its enemies. Officially, 77 men were executed by the Free State government in 1922 and 1923, but hundreds more were shot without benefit of a trial. On March 14, 1923 four anti-Treaty soldiers - Charles Daly, Daniel Enright, Sean Larkin, and Timothy O'Sullivan - were executed by Free State forces near Drumboe Castle in County Donegal. All four died bravely.

This song by Michael McGinley (1852 - 1940), also known as "The Drumboe Martyrs," remembers their deaths.
15. Dominic Behan wrote this song about a young I.R.A. soldier, Feargal O'Hanlon, who was killed on New Year's Day, 1957 in an attack on a Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh. Tom Clancy wrote a book that refers to this song. What is it?

Answer: The Patriot Game

Dominic Behan was the brother of Brendan Behan. This song begins: "Come all you young rebels, and list while I sing / For the love of one's country is a terrible thing / It banishes fear with the speed of a flame / And it soon makes you part of the patriot game." Feargal O'Hanlon was only 20 years old when he was killed; another IRA man, Sean South, was killed in the same raid.

The song "Sean South of Garryowen" was written about him.
Source: Author daver852

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