The Wearing of the Grey

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Something for the weekend.  Irish Americans and Irish immigrants distinguished themselves in battle throughout the Civil War, whether they fought beneath the Stars and Stripes or the Stars and Bars.  In 1865 one of them who fought for the South wrote this song to the tune of The Wearing of the Green.  A brave defeat to the Irish is always more cherished than a victory.

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  1. Here is the first stanza of the lyrics for “Wearing of the Green.”

    “O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
    The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
    No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen
    For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”
    I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand
    And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”
    “She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen
    For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”

    Pacem, Bing Crosby (RIP), George M. Cohan (RIP), et al. The genesis of the original song is the same: cruel oppression.

    But, there was hope which was eventually fulfilled.

    .”So if the color we must wear be England’s cruel red
    Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed
    And pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod
    But never fear, ’twill take root there, though underfoot ’tis trod.

    When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow […]”

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