Cet hommage aux volontaires irlandais des brigades internationales a été écrit par le très populaire chanteur folk irlandais Christy Moore, engagé dans le camp républicain de gauche (il a par exemple enregistré des chansons écrites par Bobby Sands, à l’époque où celui-ci faisait la grève de la faim qui devait le conduire à la mort).

C’est donc le pendant irlandais des chansons à la gloire du bataillon Lincoln que l’on trouve sur ce site (voir The Last Lincoln Veterans de David Rovics et les chansons qui y sont citées)

S’il chante à la gloire des brigadistes, il évoque aussi les Irlandais qui se sont battus avec Hitler et Mussolini aux côtés des fascistes de Franco, non sans avoir été préalablement abondamment bénis par les évêques d’Irlande. Mais comme il le dit, « Les alliés de Franco étaient les puissants et les possédants ; les hommes de Frank Ryan venaient de l’autre bord »


Ten years before I saw the light of morning
A comradeship of heroes was laid
From every corner of the world came sailing
The Fifth International Brigade

They came to stand beside the Spanish people
To try and stem the rising fascist tide
Franco’s allies were the powerful and wealthy
Frank Ryan’s men came from the other side

Even the olives were bleeding
As the battle for Madrid it thundered on
Truth and love against the force of evil
Brotherhood against the fascist clan


Viva la Quinta Brigada
“No Pasaran”, the pledge that made them fight
“Adelante” is the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight

Bob Hilliard was a Church of Ireland pastor
Form Killarney across the Pyrenees he came
From Derry came a brave young Christian Brother
Side by side they fought and died in Spain

Tommy Woods age seventeen died in Cordoba
With Na Fianna he learned to hold his gun
From Dublin to the Villa del Rio
Where he fought and died beneath the blazing sun


Many Irishmen heard the call of Franco
Joined Hitler and Mussolini too
Propaganda from the pulpit and newspapers
Helped O’Duffy to enlist his crew

The word came from Maynooth, “support the Nazis”
The men of cloth failed again
When the Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain


This song is a tribute to Frank Ryan
Kit Conway and Dinny Coady too
Peter Daly, Charlie Regan and Hugh Bonar
Though many died I can but name a few

Danny Boyle, Blaser-Brown and Charlie Donnelly
Liam Tumilson and Jim Straney from the Falls
Jack Nalty, Tommy Patton and Frank Conroy
Jim Foley, Tony Fox and Dick O’Neill