The Battle of the Bogside, song

Joe Mulheron, singing in English
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Lyrics

My name is Johnny Quigley and I’ll sing to you me song
The Brandywell in Derry town ah that’s where I come from
The Lone Moore the Lecky Road well I played there as a boy
And I climbed the slopes of Creggan Hill for to watch the Foyle flow by.

My mother worked a twelve hour shift for very little pay
Stitching cuffs and collars in the shirt factory all day
Me Da bit worked there in the docks about one day in ten
You’d find him at the corner standing with the other men.

Me uncle John trained greyhounds and I’d walk them down the line
Chasing rats and rabbits we had ourselves a time
He took me to the boxing I saw Billy Kelly fight
And when he won the title sure I cried for joy that night.

But me Da played up at the rebel game aye when he met defeat
And they locked him in the jail house at the top of Bishop Street
He escaped with seven other men and across the border fled
And then we had to visit him in the Curragh camp instead.

When he was fourteen years of age aye filled with a young man’s dreams
And I took the boat to Scotland then for a hope that Paddy feels
I slept out in the bothy tents I took the farmers blows
Returning in October with my prize a suit of clothes.

Then came the day I married Anne my wife and I did tramp
To our cottage in the countryside they called it Springtown Camp
And the walls were corrugated tin with water running down
Two hundred homeless families occupied that shanty town.

And the corporation housing it was managed by a man
He owned half the slums in Derry town and his partner owned the land
And the men who owned the money are the men who own the law
The slogan on the bookies wall said we want better odds.


And so we started marching then McCann in ‘68
They tried to put us down by God but then it was too late
They sent the thugs in uniform to smash us sure did try
Three days we fought them hand to hand in the Battle of Bogside.

At Free Derry corner we built  the barricade
Men and kids and women together all unafraid
A job justice and a home was all the marchers sought
But thirteen men in Derry streets their paratroopers shot.

And when the firing started it was time to choose
Except for my place in the dole queue sure I’ve nothing else to lose
Ah the road is long the struggle hard we’ll get there just the same
We’re off our knees in Derry now we’ll not bow down again.