When He Who Adores Thee
DESCRIPTION: The singer states "though guilty to them [my foes], I have been but too faithful to thee [Ireland]!" "Oh! blessed are the lovers and friends who shall live The days of thy glory to see"; next best "is the pride of thus dying for thee"
AUTHOR: Thomas Moore (1779-1852) (source: Moylan)
EARLIEST DATE: 2000 (Moylan); reportedly performed 1839 (see NOTE)
KEYWORDS: execution Ireland nonballad patriotic
Sep 20, 1803 - Robert Emmet (1778-1803) is hanged
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Moylan 158, "When He Who Adores Thee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Firth b.27(14), "When He Who Adores Thee," unknown, n.d.
cf. "Oh! Breathe Not His Name" (subject: concealed allusions to Robert Emmet)
cf. "She is Far From the Land" (subject: concealed allusions to Robert Emmet)
cf. "The Man from God-Knows-Where" (subject: concealed allusions to Robert Emmet)
NOTES [211 words]: Performed by P.F. White in concert in Boston in 1839 (source: Robert R Grimes, How Shall We Sing in a Foreign Land? (1996, Notre Dame), p. 56.)
Moylan: "In this song Moore paraphrases parts of Emmet's speech from the dock and has him address these sentiments to Ireland."
You can find copies of Emmet's speech on the Web. See, for example, "Robert Emmet's Speech from the Dock (Document)" quoted on wiki.politics.ie site from "Politics.ie, the Irish politics website." None of Moore's text follows Emmet's, though Emmet is speaking over the court's head: "if there is a true Irishman present let my last words cheer him in the hour of his affliction." - BS
We should probably note that there is no official transcript of Emmet's speech (see Robert Kee, The Most Distressful Country, being volume I of The Green Flag, p. 168). We don't know his precise words. It hardly matters, any more than it matters that his rebellion was ill-organized and completely inept; he could hardly have said anything more effective than what was reported, and it was that which kept his myth alive.
Moore, we should add, knew Emmet; according to Kee, Moore was "Emmet's old friend and fellow student at Trinity." Kee regards Moore as having "set the tone" for Emmet's legend. - RBW
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