Gra-mo-chroi. I'd Like to See Old Ireland Free Once More
DESCRIPTION: "Last night I had a happy dream ... I thought again brave Irishmen Had set old Ireland free." Some modern heroes are named and Father Murphy and the Wexford men of ninety-eight. "It's Gra-mo-chroi, I'd like to see old Ireland free once more"
EARLIEST DATE: 1912 (OLochlainn)
KEYWORDS: rebellion dream Ireland nonballad patriotic
1775-1847 - Life of Daniel O'Connell
1778 - Birth of Robert Emmet
1796 - A French fleet (carrying, among others, Wolfe Tone) sets out for Ireland
May 26, 1798 - Beginning of the Wexford rebellion
May 27, 1798 - The Wexford rebels under Father John Murphy defeat the North Cork militia
June 5, 1798 - The Wexford rebels attack the small garrison (about 1400 men, many militia) at New Ross, but are repelled
June 21, 1798 - The rebel stronghold a Vinegar Hill is taken, and the Wexford rebellion effectively ended
1803 - Robert Emmet attempts a new rebellion. The revolt is quickly crushed, and Emmet eventually hanged
Nov 24, 1867 - Hanging of the Manchester Martyrs; this year also marked the failed Fenian rising
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
OLochlainn 63, "Gra-mo-chroi. I'd Like to See Old Ireland Free Once More" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST OLoc063 (Partial)
Margaret Barry, "Gra Machree" (on IRMBarry-Fairs)
cf. "Daniel O'Connell (I)" (subject: Daniel O'Connell) and references there
NOTES: This song mentions many heroes of Irish freedom, most of whom are the heroes of other songs:
For (Daniel) O'Connell, see "Daniel O'Connell (I)" and "Daniel O'Connell (II)."
For Lord Edward (Fitzgerald), the sort-of-leader of the 1798 United Irishmen, see the notes to "The Green Above the Red."
For Wolfe Tone, the Irish Protestant who helped organize the failed invasion of 1796, see especially "The Shan Van Voght."
For Robert Emmet, the rebel against the post-1798 Union, see among others "Bold Robert Emmet, "Emmet's Death," "Emmet's Farewell to His Sweetheart," and "My Emmet's No More."
For Father Murphy and his role in the 1798 rebellion, plus the Battle of Vinegar Hill, see the notes to "Father Murphy (I)" and the references there; also "Sweet County Wexford."
"Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien" were the "Manchester Martyrs," for whom see especially "The Smashing of the Van (I)."
If the song dates from the time of the Manchester Martyrs, I would note the existence of a roughly contemporary song, "Slave's Dream," beginning, "I had a dream, a happy dream, I dreamed that I was free" (WolfAmericanSongSheets, pp.142-143). I know of no connection, but the use a lot of common words. - RBW
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