Come all you brave Irishmen wherever you may be
And I’ll tell you a story that happened to me:
’Tis all of a shooting that happened long ago
In the town of Kilkenny, a place you all know.
’Twas early one morning ere daylight did appear
Young Johnny went out his land for to clear
The Bailiff came on with his treacherous crew
Saying ‘Johnny, the court has a warrant for you.
Your land will be taken to pay for your rent
And you’ll be transported, your life will be spent
Far over the ocean in some foreign land
And from your own country forever you’re banned.’
Young Johnny ran off to his house for his gun
‘I’ll not be transported whatever I’ve done!
I’ll shoot the first traitor who crosses my gate
So go home to your Government before it’s too late!’
The Bailiff gave orders to his Captain and crew:
‘We’ll surround this young Johnny, and shoot when I do—
Young Johnny, come out and surrender peacefully
Or soon you will swing from our high gallows tree!’
But the answer he gave them was fire and ball.
‘My curse on all Bailiffs and traitors one and all!
I’ve tilled and I’ve worked every part of this land
And there’s no one can shift me, I’ve taken my stand.’
The first shot was fired and the Captain fell dead.
The Bailiff said: ‘Johnny, you heard what I said!
You’ll swing from yon gallows, the highest you’ve seen
And the ravens of death will pick your bones clean.’
The surrounded the house and they held him at bay
And soon our Young Johnny all bleeding he lay.
With his last final shot, the Bailiff he did slay,
And that was the ending of Young Johnny Grey.
So come all you brave Irishmen wherever you may be:
Don’t let them transport you all over the sea.
Stay in your own country and defend your own land
And soon we’ll be free from this treacherous band.