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Updated 07/31/2015

 


Amhran na bhFiann
(The Soldier's Song)
Peadar Kearney

The text of The Soldier's Song (Amhrán na bhFiann), consisting of three stanzas and a chorus, was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, an uncle of Brendan Behan,  who together with Patrick Heeney also composed the music. It was first published in the newspaper, Irish Freedom in 1912.  It was used as marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the General Post Office (GPO) during the Easter Rising of 1916. Its popularity increased among rebels held in Frongoch internment camp after the Rising, and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the Irish War of Independence (1919–21). After the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, a large proportion of the IRA's men and apparatus became the National Army. The "Soldiers' Song" remained popular as an Army tune, and was played at many military functions. 

The chorus was formally adopted as the National Anthem in 1926, displacing the earlier Fenian anthem, God Save Ireland. A section of the National Anthem (consisting of the first four bars followed by the last five) is also the Presidential Salute.

I do not have a transcription of the tune for bagpipes.

 

Lyrics

Irish

Sinne Fianna Fáil,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chughainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaig amhrán na bhfiann

Extended version continues..

Seo dhíbh, a chairde, duan Ógláigh
Caithréimeach bríomhar ceolmhar
Ár dtinte cnámh go buacach táid
’S an spéir go mín réaltógach
Is fonnmhar faobhrach sinn chun gleo
’S go tiúnmhar glé roimh thíocht don ló
Fé chiúnas chaomh na hoíche ar seol
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil...

Cois bánta réidhe, ar ardaibh sléibhe
Ba bhuadhach ár sinsir romhainn
Ag lámhach go tréan fén sárbhrat séin
’Tá thuas sa ghaoth go seolta
Ba dhúchas riamh dár gcine cháidh
Gan iompáil siar ó imirt áir
’S ag siúl mar iad i gcoinne námhad
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil...

A bhuíon nach fann d’fhuil Ghaeil is Gall
Sin breacadh lae na saoirse
Tá sceimhle ’s scanradh i gcroíthe námhad
Roimh ranna laochra ár dtíre
Ár dtinte is tréith gan spréach anois
Sin luisne ghlé sa spéir anoir
’S an bíobha i raon na bpiléar agaibh
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil...

English

Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the "bearna baoil",
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier's song

cont.

We’ll sing a song, a soldier’s song
With cheering rousing chorus
As round our blazing fires we throng
The starry heavens o’er us
Impatient for the coming fight
And as we await the morning’s light
Here in the silence of the night
We’ll chant a soldier’s song

Soldiers are we...

In valley green, on towering crag
Our fathers fought before us
And conquered ’neath the same old flag
That’s proudly floating o’er us
We’re children of a fighting race
That never yet has known disgrace
And as we march, the foe to face
We’ll chant a soldier’s song

Soldiers are we...

Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long-watched day is breaking
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the tyrant quaking
Our camp fires now are burning low
See in the east a silv’ry glow
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe
So chant a soldier’s song

Soldiers are we...