Berry Ballad

Come all yous loyal brethren, I hope yous will draw near
It’s of a cruel murder boys, as ever you did hear
A woeful lamentation I mean to let you know
I had to die for Chambre and I never struck a blow.

Francis Berry is my name and my age is twenty three
I am a Roman Catholic, was reared in Drumintee
I am my mother’s only son, the truth I’ll ne’er deny
I left her broken-hearted in the townland of Adavoyle.

It happened in the year of eighteen and fifty two
For little I knew of the dangers great, I had for to come through
At nine o’clock on Tuesday night, my house they did surround
And I was taken prisoner and handcuffed on the ground.

They marched me off to Newry town, for me they’d take no bail
I was sworn by that a’cursed Singleton and forced to Armagh jail
He swore that I presented, a pistol and a ball
And God he is my witness, on Him I now will call.

I never fired at any man, God witness to the same
It’s in yer blood, cursed Chambre but, my hands I ne’er did stain
And God will say to Chambre, upon his dying day
Depart from me cursed Chambre, you did my child betray.

Depart from me Chambre, you caused his wounds to bleed,
Depart from me cursed Chambre, to thee I’ll give no heed
On the day of my execution, it was a shocking sight
To see the trembling victim, as he was dressed in white.

And standing in the jailhouse door, to view the gallows tree
It put me in mind of our Saviour who died on Mount Calvary
And standing on that woeful trap, praying to God on high
For to have mercy on my soul, for innocent I must die.

Come all my loyal brethren, my race is nearly run
And I will be an angel bright unto Thy Kingdom come
I’ll be governed by one clergy, its church is on a rock
Christ is our foundation and St Peter guides his flock.

Here’s to my loyal mother, I send these locks of hair
And also to my sister, in hopes that she’ll get care
And in Killeavy Churchyard, my body will remain
And against the Day of Judgement, I’ll see yous all again.

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