The Rising of the Moon
The ballad's singer is told that the "pikes must be together at the rising of the moon" to engage in rebellion. The pikemen gather, but are defeated. Despite the loss, the listener is told that there are those who will "follow in their footsteps" to again revolt.
The ballad has taken the tune of another Irish ballad, "The Wearing of the Green", and was first published in John Keegan Casey's 1866 collection of poems and songs, A Wreath of Shamrocks. The lyrics were written by Casey (1846–70), the "Fenian Poet", who based the poem on the failed 1798 uprising in Granard, County Longford.
The ballad refers to the outbreak of the 1798 rebellion, as United Irish rebels convey the order to rise. The air of hope and optimism associated with the ultimately doomed rebellion was intended to provide inspiration for rebels preparing to take to the field in another ill-fated venture, the Fenian rebellion of 1867.
The song remains popular and the tune is widely recognised in Ireland today, as it is often taught in schools, played regularly at official and sporting events, and has been covered by a wide variety of musicians, including The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, The High Kings, Tommy Makem and Peter, Paul and Mary.
- Casey, John Keegan (1867). A wreath of shamrocks:: ballads, songs, and legends. Dublin: Robert S. M'Gee, 35 Lower Sackville Street (next the General Post Office). pp. 31–33.
- Waltz, Robert B.; Engle, David G. "Rising of the Moon, The". The Traditional Ballad Index. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Zimmermann, Georges Denis (1967). Songs of Irish rebellion: political street ballads and rebel songs, 1780–1900. Hatboro, Pa.: Folklore Associates. p. 260.
- O'Conor, Manus (1901). Irish come-all-ye's: a repository of ancient Irish songs and ballads—comprising patriotic, descriptive, historical and humorous gems, characteristic of the Irish race. New York: L. Lipkind. p. 111.
- Galvin, Patrick (1955). Irish songs of resistance. New York City: Folklore Press. p. 35.
- Zimmermann (1967), pp. 259–260
- Silber, Irwin; Silber, Fred (1973). Folksinger's wordbook. New York, NY: Oak Publications. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-8256-0140-8.
- Sparling, Henry Halliday (1888). Irish minstrelsy: being a selection of Irish songs, lyrics, and ballads. London: W. Scott. pp. 21–22.
- Kenedy, Patrick John (1898). The universal Irish song book: a complete collection of the songs and ballads of Ireland. New York: P.J. Kenedy. p. 134.
- "2806 b.10(189)". Bodleian Library Catalogue of Ballads. University of Oxford. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "2806 b.10(205)". Bodleian Library Catalogue of Ballads. University of Oxford. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Bobby Sands' Diary". Irish Hunger Strike 1981. Irishhungerstrike.com. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
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