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Fife and drum at Fort Napoleon #7 - The Minstrel Boy

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Published on Oct 12, 2009

Playing of 1 verse of "The Minstrel Boy".
"The Minstrel Boy" is an Irish patriotic song written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of The Moreen, an old Irish air. However, the song gained widespread popularity and became a favourite of many Irishmen who fought during the United States Civil War and gained even more popularity after World War I.

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The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death ye will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" cried the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!"

During the American Civil War a third verse was written by an unknown author:

The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it,
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as God intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And ev'ry battle must be ended.

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