Bloddy Road to the Somme


Hear the measured beat of Ulstermen marching,
Through the green fields and streets of the towns,
Called up to arms by bold Edward Carson,
To stand for the Red Hand and Crown.

These were the seed of mighty CuChulainn,
These were the sons of Congal Claen,
Determined that Gaels and Rome should not rule them,
And England if need be withstand.

Those were the days of Ulsters defiance,
Those were the days of passion and strife,
Those were the days when England denied us,
And Ulster stood for her life.

The call came for war and the volunteers answered,
The 36th was formed in 1914,
To fight the German Kaiser instead of faithless England,
And maintain their birth right and King.

They marched into hell nearly two years onward,
The first day of July on a bright summer morn,
Aloft against blue skies they bore the Ulster Standard,
Down the Bloody Road to the Somme.

These were the men of Tyrone, Londonderry,
Monaghan and Cavan, Down and Donegal,
The men of Armagh, of Antrim and Fermanagh,
Who walked the Bloody Road to the Somme.

They faced the deadly hail from canons and machine guns,
Through the bursting shells and hell of no-mans-land,
Triumphantly they yelled the cry of No Surrender,
And fought the Kaisers troops hand to hand.

Three miles they struck through enemy defences,
In the greatest charge of that European war,
Like a mighty wave they swarmed the German trenches,
Over fallen dead and barbed wire.

Then they were cut off with no one to support them,
They were mowed down by fire from three sides,
Bravely they fell like leaves in the autumn,
Death reaped the bitter harvest of their lives.

When the battle ceased a young man was heard crying,
Bleeding from a wound were the bullet creased his head,
There amid the maimed the pleading and the dying,
He held the broken body of his friend.

As the red sun sets, smoke drifted o'er the trenches,
These bewildered men trudged back along the way,
The carnage it was great, the slaughter it was senseless,
Five thousand Ulster Sons feel that day.

Here was a time of mourning and of sorrow,
All along the line they gathered up their dead,
Here was a time of yearning for the morrow,
Here was a time when Ulster bled.

The land was filled with grief when news broke of the slaughter,
Thick like black heavy clouds, it hung o'er croughnays brow,
The telegrams they came to mothers, wives, and daughters,
And like warm falling rain the tears poured down.

We count the bloody cost they paid for Ulsters freedom,
We cherish memories of those who died so young,
With passing of the years we will not forget them,
Who walked the Bloody Road to the Somme.

As long as earth revolves upon its axis turning,
And day sleeps in the dark and wakens with the dawn,
As long as sun goes down and rises in the morning,
We will remember the Somme.

We will remember the Somme.

Yes, we will remember the Somme.

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