Paddy’s Lamentation/By the Hush, Me Boys

An emigrant song with an even sadder outcome than most – conscription in the Irish Brigade during the Civil War which, as one individual put it “saw fierce action at such battles as Malvern Hill and Antietam…practically annihilated in the suicide charge at Fredericksburg.”  As a side note, Frank McGrath of the Nenagh Singers Circle explains “The title of the song is a corruption of an Irish phrase Bí i do thost or be quietwhich in fact is translated in the first line of the song……Well, it’s by the hush, me boys and that’s to make no noise.”

Niamh Ni Charra performs live with Matt Griffin, and this song is recorded on her CD Súgach Sámh/Happy Out.

Paddy’s Lamentation/By the Hush, Me Boys

And its by the hush, me boys
And be sure to hold your noise
And listen to poor Paddy’s sad narration
I was by hunger pressed
And by poverty distressed
So I took an oath to leave the Irish nation

So I sold me horse and plow
Sold me sheep, me pigs and sow
Me little farm of land and I we parted
And me sweetheart Beth Magee
I’m afeared I’ll never see
For I left her on that mornin’ broken hearted

And here’s you Boys, now take my advice
To Americay I’ll have you not be goin’
For there’s nothin’ here but war
Where the murderin’ cannons roar
And I wish I was back home
In dear old Ireland

So meself and a hundred more
To Americay sailed o’er
Our fortunes to be makin’ we were thinkin’
But when we got to Yankee-Land
They stuck a musket in me hands
Sayin’ “Paddy, you must go and fight for Lincoln”

General Meagher to us said
“If you get shot, or you lose your leg
Every mother’s son of you will get a pension”
But in the war I lost my leg
And all I got’s a wooden peg
Oh Me Boys, it is the truth to you I mention


Now, I’d have thought meself in luck
To be fed an Indian buck
And in Ireland the land that I delight in
But by the Devil I do say
Curse Americay
For I’m sure I’ve had enough of your hard fightin’


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