Green Above the Red, The
DESCRIPTION: When the English red has been above the Irish green our fathers rose to set the green above the red. Heroes are named. Irish green is banned now but "we vow our blood to shed, Once and forever more to raise the green above the red"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 b.10(118))
KEYWORDS: Ireland nonballad patriotic political rebellion
REFERENCES (3 citations):
O'Conor-OldTimeSongsAndBalladOfIreland, p. 58, "The Green Above the Red" (1 text)
Healy-MercierBookOfOldIrishStreetBalladsVol2, pp. 125-126, "The Green Above the Red" (1 text)
Hylands-Mammoth-Hibernian-Songster, p. 86, "The Green Above the Red" (1 text)
ST OCon058 (Partial)
Bodleian, 2806 b.10(118), "The Green Above the Red" ("Full often when our fathers saw the Red above the Green"), H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Harding B 11(1411), Harding B 11(1412), "The Green Above the Red"
NOTES [160 words]: The "Lord Edward" of some texts is Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1763-1798), one of the leaders of the United Irishmen and the last one to retain his liberty after the government cracked down (March 12). He doesn't seem to have been particularly smart, and was eventually wounded and captured (May 19); he died in prison of the effects of his wound. For more about him, see the notes to "Edward (III) (Edward Fitzgerald)."
For Wolfe Tone, see, e.g., the notes to "The Shan Van Voght."
Patrick Sarsfield, made Earl of Lucan by James II, was one of the Irish around the time of the Boyne; for his story, see "After Aughrim's Great Disaster."
My guess is that "Owen" is Owen Roe O'Neill (c. 1582-1649), nephew of Red Hugh O'Neill; he served for a time in the Netherlands, then fought against the English in Ireland in the 1640s, though he did not cooperate very well with other Nationalist leaders. For background on his career, see the notes to "General Owen Roe." - RBW
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