Genocide: 1845 - 1848
1845 - 1848
By Éamon de Valera
The moral right of the author has been asserted. Reproduction without permission will result in legal action.
Men and women of the Gael, you've been duped for years
By self-serving propaganda that's fallen on your ears
For the conqueror wrote the history books, which were doctored just to say
That the world might understand it in the proper English way.
In 1838 the Irish Poor Law said
That you must stay put in Ireland and pay tax on corn for bread
And you mustn't gather seaweed or fish in streams or lakes
And the "Landlords own the coastline" where the Irish ocean breaks.
Now this wondrous law was authored to break the Irish race
By the same bloodline as Cromwell, who despised an Irish face
Or better still to force them off the land forever more
To wander up and down the roads, throughout all Province four.
Now we all know what a famine is, at least we think we do
We've seen, in Ethiopia, a definition true
With no water, grain or living thing on the parched desert floor
And every blade of scrub picked clean and not a chance for more.
What we've been told of Ireland is thus it was the same
But anyone who's been there must cringe at this dread claim
A land so lush in greenery, where fish and fowl abound
With fields of golden corn and wheat the entire country round.
But, a 150 years ago, the Landlords taxed them well
Then sent the tax to England to help the coffers swell
Forcing the tenant farmers to subside on "spuds" alone
And nothing else in their green land were they allowed to own.
Then, in 1845, came the first potato blight
Which began 4 years which have been called "Ireland's Darkest Night"
And as the English watched this crop rotting in the fields
They forbade the Gael from living on the other harvest yields.
And it wasn't just the Irish crop that failed, despite their claim
But the French and Dutch and German spuds were rotted just the same
But they didn't starve, they just switched their staple by the rood
While the English troops denied the Gael all but this one food.
And while the people starved to death because of poisoned spuds
The shipping lanes to England were packed with Irish goods
There were tons of wheat and barley, oats and beets and more
Being unloaded onto English docks from bulging holds galore.
Up above the grains and greens that left the Irish coast
Were pigs and sheep and cattle plundered from the starving host
To say nothing of the hens and eggs and butter by the pound
While the only food they left us was rotting in the ground.
Relief supplies were sent from America in '47
Believing that a famine had plagued our island heaven
They, too, had fallen victim to this greatest English lie
That let the English eat our food and watch the Irish die.
And still you call it "famine" tho' we know you're not to blame
For when we say what we've been told, we hide the English shame
Remember all the "coffin ships", then cast the word aside
And call it what you know it was...call it GENOCIDE.
Éamon de Valera 1994