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Wearin’ of the Green

From the Evening Star, March 16, 1913.

 Oh, Paddy dear, and did you hear
     The news that’s going round?
 The shamrock is forbid by law
     To grow on Irish ground.
 And Saint Patrick’s Day no more we’ll keep,
     His color can’t be seen;
 For there’s a bloody law against
     The wearin’ of the green.
 I met with Napper Tandy,
     And he took me by the hand,
 And he said, “How’s poor ould Ireland,
     And how does she stand?”
 She's the most distressful country
     That ever you have seen;
 They’re hanging men and women there
     For wearin’ of the green.
 Then since the color we must wear
     Is England’s cruel red,
 Sure Ireland’s sons will ne’er forget
     The blood that they have shed.
 You may take the shamrock from your hat,
     And cast it on the sod;
 But ’twill take root and flourish still,
     Tho’ under foot ’tis trod.
 When the law can stop the blades of grass
     From growing as they grow,
 And when the leaves in summertime
     Their verdure dare not show,
 Then I will change the color
     I wear in my corbeen;
 But till that day, please God, I’ll stick
     To wearin’ of the green.
 But if at last our color should
     Be torn from Ireland’s heart,
 Her sons with shame and sorrow
     From the dear old soil will part.
 I’ve heard whisper of a country
     That lies far beyond the say,
 Where rich and poor stand equal in
     The light of freedom’s day.
 Oh, Erin, must we leave you?
     Driven by the tyrant’s hand,
 Must we ask a mother’s welcome
     From a strange but happier land,
 Where the cruel cross of England’s thralldom
     Never shall be seen,
 And where, thank God, we’ll live and die
     Still wearin’ of the green?

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