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The Croppy Boy

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OriginalPer lo più la prime due strofe si ritrovano quasi identiche ...
THE CROPPY BOY

It was early early in the spring,
The birds did whistle and sweetly sing,
Changing their notes from tree to tree,
And the song they sang was old Ireland free.

It was early early last Tuesday night,
The yeoman cavalry gave me a fright;
The yeoman cavalry was my downfall,
And taken was I by Lord Cornwall.

It was to the guard-house I then was led,
And in a parlour I was tried;
My sentence passed and my courage low
To New Geneva I was forced to go.

As I was passing my father's door,
My brother William stood at the door;
My aged father stood at the door,
And my tender mother her hair she tore.

As I was walking up Wexford Street
My own first cousin I chanced to meet;
My own first cousin did me betray,
And for one bare guinea swore my life away.

My sister Mary heard the express,
She ran upstairs in her morning dress
Five hundred guineas she would lay down,
To see me liberated in Wexford Town.

As I was walking up Wexford Hill,
Who could blame me to cry my fill?
I looked behind and I looked before,
But my tender mother I shall ne'er see more.

As I was mounted on the platform high,
My aged father was standing by;
My aged father did me deny,
And the name he gave me was the Croppy Boy.

It was in Geneva this young man died,
And in Geneva his body lies;
All you good Christians that do pass by
Breathe a prayer, shed a tear for the Croppy Boy
The Halliard nell'album leggendario del debutto"It's the Irish in me" del 1967

I
'Twas early, early in the spring,
the birds did whistle and sweetly sing changing their notes from tree to tree,
and the song they sang was "Old Ireland Free!".
II
'Twas in the darkest starless night,
the yeoman cavalry(1) gave me a fright,
the yeoman cavalry was my downfall,
and I was taken by Lord Cornwall(2).
III
As I was drive the long Wexford Street
my own first cousin I chanced to meet;
my own first cousin did me betray,
for one bare guinea swore my life away.
IV
My sister Mary heard the express,
she ran downstairs in her cold night dress
"My life my virtue I will lay down
to see my brother sail for Wexford town"
V
As I was stood on the gallows high
but my father was standing by
my father stood and did me deny
and the name he gave me was the Croppy boy
VI
In Duncannon(3) my hopes will lie,
for in Duncannon I must die,
don’t' shed a tear as you pass by
for I go proudly as the Croppy Boy.

NOTE
1) yeoman: originariamente il nome dato ai coltivatori diretti inglesi del XVII secolo che fornirono soldati per lo più nel corpo a cavallo dell'esercito inglese. Nel 1790 vennero formati i reggimenti Yeomen in risposta alla minaccia rappresentata dalla Francia in seguito alla rivoluzione francese. Era una forza riservista e volontaria, composta principalmente da piccoli agricoltori e proprietari terrieri che erano fedeli alla Corona. Essi si trovavano in tutta la Gran Bretagna, ma fu in Irlanda, che vennero coinvolti come prima linea di difesa contro i ribelli. Qui indica una unità militare britannica impiegata nella Battaglia di Harrow del 26 maggio 1798 a Wexford, la Camolin Cavalry.
Occorre osservare ad onor del vero che le yeomanry nel XVIII secolo erano composte anche da volontari irlandesi, per lo più orangisti ovvero appartenenti all'Orange Order
2) Lord Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) Lord luogotenente (ovvero Vicerè) d'Irlanda dal maggio 1798 (anche se è arrivato a Dublino dall'Inghilterra solo il 20 di giugno in concomitanza con la vittoria a Vinegar Hill - Enniscothy contea di Wexford)
3) il forte di Duncannon è una fortezza a pianta stellare sul promontorio del porto di Waterford (a pochi chilometri ad Ovest di Wexford). C'è ancora la cella del "croppy boy" dove i ribelli erano detenuti.
In altre versioni il luogo del processo e della condanna è invece la Caserma Ginevra, trasformata al tempo della ribellione in carcere temporaneo, diventato tristemente famoso per i maltrattamenti inflitti ai prigionieri. I ribelli che non erano condannati a morte erano deportati in Australia o arruolati a forza nella Royal Navy. Oggi restano solo poche rovine con una targa commemorativa.


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