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The Flowers of the Forest by Karen Andersen and Kevin Donleavy

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Uploaded on Jun 3, 2009

Karen Andersen and Kevin Donleavy of The Irish Brigade band of Madison, Wisconsin perform The Flowers of the Forest. The tune is an ancient Scottish melody, having first been written down circa 1615. It is almost certainly of even older provenance. The lyrics most commonly sung now were written in about 1756 by a Scottish poetess, Jean Elliot, and are said to commemorate the men of Scotland who fell in battle against the English at Flodden Field in the 1500's.
Almost certainly the poetess really had in mind the Scots who had recently fallen in the Rising of 1745, but had to frame the song about earlier events for the sake of safety. Nationalist poets in Ireland also had to resort to similar devices to escape persecution. In either case the titular "Flowers of the Forest" refers to the Scots who fell in battle agaisnt the English tyrants. Unfortunately, the British Military establishment has stolen this tune from the Scottish People to whom it rightly belongs and use it in commemorating the dead of thier Imperialst adventures. The true meaning of the song is quite the opposite, and is in honour of those who fell fighting British Imperialism.
Rcorded live on an episode of "In Memory of James Connolly", a weekly one-hour radio program on WORT FM
produced and presented for 12 years by members of the Cathal Brugha / Hugh Heron Irish Republican Club of Madison, WI USA. For the purists, Karen made a mistake in translating the Scots lyrics in the opening verse. The original is "...at ilka yow milking", meaning "....at each ewe milking".

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