Sur la mélodie d’une vieille ballade irlandaise – également passée dans le folklore des USA – cette chanson a été écrite par un militant nationaliste irlandais, Dominic Behan, à partir d’un fait d’arme ayant couté la vie à un jeune combattant de l’IRA en 1957. Elle est devenue une chanson traditionnelle pour les révolutionnaires irlandais, supplantant la ballade originale. Elle est ici chantée par Judy Collins.

La version américaine de cette ballade, intitulée The Nightingale a été enregistrée par Burl Ives. Elle est la source de la musique d’une chanson de Bob Dylan, With God On Our Side.


THE PATRIOT GAME

Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one’s country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes you all part of the patriot game.

My name is O’Hanlon, and I’ve just come sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and there I was weaned.
I learned all my life cruel England to blame,
And now I am a part of the patriot game.

It’s nearly two years since I wandered away,
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
I’ve read of our heroes, and I wanted the same,
To play out my part in the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half free;
Six counties lie under John Bull’s tyranny.
But still De Valera is greatly to blame,
For shirking his part in the Patriot game.

They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair,
His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame,
They soon made me part of the patriot game.

And now as I die here, my body all holes (or: holed),
I think of those traitors who bargained in souls,
And I wish that my rifle had given the same,
To those Quislings who sold out the patriot game.