John Mitchel Ballad

I am a true-born Irishman

John Mitchel is my name

To free my own brave countrymen

From Newry town I came …

I struggled hard both night and day

To free my native land

For which I was transported

As you may understand.


When first I joined my countrymen

Was the year of ’42

And then what followed after that

I’ll quickly tell to you

I raised the standard of Repeal

And gloried in the deed

I vowed to heaven I ne’er would rest

Till Ireland would be free.


Farewell my gallant countrymen

It grieves my heart full sore

To think that I must part from you

Perhaps forever more

The love I have for my native land

I know no other crime

That’s the reason I must go

Unto a foreign clime.


When I was in prison fast confined

Awaiting my trial day

My loving wife she came to me

And this to me did say

‘John, my dear, cheer up your heart

Undaunted always be!

It’s better to die for Ireland‘s rights

Than to live in slavery’.


When I received my sentence

In cold irons I was bound

With hundreds of my countrymen

Assembled all around

My liberty was offered me

If I forsook the cause

I’d rather die a thousand deaths

Than forsake my Irish boys.


I was placed upon a convict ship

Without the least delay

For Bermuda‘s Isle our course was steered

And I’ll ne’er forget that day

As I stood upon the deck

To take one farewell view

I shed a tear, but not from fear

My native land for you.


Adieu, adieu to Newry town

And likewise Dublin too

And to the young and tender babes

Alas, what will they do?

But there’s one request I ask of you

When your liberty you gain

Remember Mitchel far away

A convict bound in chains.

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