The UlsterOrange/Unionist/Loyalist

This is music of the Island of Ireland.

But you probably have not heard much of it! 

Grand Historical Ballads!! Some of the best Folk music of  the Island of Ireland Yet it is hardly known or played. Join us in bringing these important songs new life. They are treasures of the Island of Ireland- Sing out these hand crafted verses so that human achievement shall not fade from this earth. But, let them lift your spirits too and put a spring into your step and joy into your heart

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Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 Part4
Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

About the Orange Unionist Tradition
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A word  for those who question the collection of these treasures Click here 

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Main Index of the Songbook


Part I

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Part 6

Part 7
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Lambeg Drums Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2008
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Main Menu of of Part 1

Lili Burlero The Protestant
A very Old 
Dollie's Brae The Orange
Lilly O!
The Old Orange 
The Sash My
Father Wore
The Green Grasy
Slopes of the Boyne
The Battle of 
The Boyne

The Main Menu Of Part 2

The Ballad of 
Lindsey Mooney
of Ulster
Ballad of 
Andrew Craig
Protestant I
The Times
They are a 
Volunteers The Courtroom Loyal Protestant II Ulster Volunteer Sandy Row
The Billy
Boys I&2

The Main Menu of Part 3

When This Old Sash was New  The Death of Schomberg Rise Sons of William Orange Gathering Song
Up Orangemen Up A fine True-Hearted Protestant On the Initiation of a Brother William Of Orange

The Main Menu of Part 4

The Orange Flag of Victory The Orange Yoemanry of '98 'Pretntice Boys of Derry Loughgall The Orange Tree The Orangeman
The Orange ABC Derry's Walls The Pope's Brigade Ulster  to the Rescue You Willimites So True  The Orange Lark

Main Menu of Part 5

The Orange Banner Success to the Orange wherever it Goes An Advice To Orangemen The Cannon of the 'Prentice Boys The Battle of the Diamond Derry's Deathless Story Battle of the Diamond
Old Father Dan Sons Whose Sires with William Bled The Orange Plant King William's Day Shutting the Gates of Derry Our Country's Saviour The Men of Skinners Alley

Main Menu Part 6

The Battle of the
From Street to 
Street we Marched away
A Song for
the Yeomen
New Protestant Boys Cropies Lie Down How Hackett Fell
Orange Booven From Every Hill and Valley The Bright Orange Banner
The Gates of Londonderry Shutting the Gates of Derry2 The Crimson Flag of Derry
The Arab Orange Lodge While the Orange Lilies Grow The Orange Maid of Sligo

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Main Menu Part 7 Songs of William of Orange from the Pepys Collection

A Congratulatory Poem The Prince of Orange Welcome The Prince of Orange’s Triumph 
Or, The Downfall of the Distressed Jesuits
A Third Touch of the Times A New Song of an Orange The Rare Vertue of an Orange
Or Popery purged and expelled out of the Nation

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The Orange/Unionist Ulster Tradition
A few thoughts...

When you have gone out for a "great day for the Irish" I wonder......

Have you ever heard the wonderful ballads we present here?

The songs of the Orange/Unionist Ulster Tradition are songs of solidarity. They are designed to commemorate history and inspire unity and courage.

 As such these ballads like those of the Republican and Nationalist traditions describe a battle between right and wrong -between friend and enemy.

 For the Orange and Unionist tradition the enemy is two fold. The first enemy is the Catholic Vigilante group represented historically by organizations such as the Ribbonmen and the Defenders. Very much like the KKK in the United States, these organizations were determined to disrupt the lives and deny the rights of Protestants living in Ulster . Their actions were quite violent and included murder as well as terror. (See Portadown) Often these violent acts went unpunished by the British Government which in some instances even penalized the Orangemen when they were in fact the victims rather than the aggressors! (See Dolly's Brae)

 A second enemy is found in the officials of the British Government who are seen by the Orangemen as unfairly supporting the causes of the terrorist gangs and are inept in the execution of justice.

Many may wonder why it is that the Orange Unionist tradition views a church: The Roman Catholic Church as an enemy while republicans and nationalists tend to not be so concerned with religion in their ballads. The reason for this is historical. The ballads of the Orange Unionist tradition come from a period of time when the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope represented political as well as religious power (The Papal States existed until  relatively  recently and the Vatican is still a sovereign nation!). The church continually worked to remove British administrative control from Ulster both through the encouragement of the intervention of foreign powers such as Spain, and France and through the inspiration of internal revolt. The Pope, the Jesuits, and the priests (remember Father Murphy?) all were direct political threats to the lifeways and civil rights of the Protestant Orangemen and as such became very real enemies described by the ballad tradition.

 As one reads the lyrics of any ballad tradition one often comes across code words which are used to describe the enemy. These words are present in all traditions but be they croppies, proddies, papists, Brits, black and tans, or whatever, such words are merely abbreviations for longer definitions. The term papist for example represents the concept of : "follower of the Pope, a Catholic, a member of a religion which we consider to be in error and wrong in relationship to our religion and a person which may not tolerate my beliefs and may be as a follower of the political entity which is the Catholic church one of our enemies". This shorthand exists simply to save space. The use of code words should not be taken to represent some form of inherent rabid hatred but only to signify and express the political rivalry being discussed in the songs.

 You will find many references to King William of Orange (King William III of England) in these songs. To more fully appreciate the international as well as local importance of the Battle of the Boyne and King William III I would encourage you to visit my Battle of the Boyne Pages:To the Boyne

 When all is said and done and the dust of the battles and rivalries clears these songs now stand as eloquent works of art in note and verse. They are quite ancient, far older than many of the songs of the Republican and Nationalist traditions and they have stood the test of time as art. They are good at what they do- they put a song into our minds and a spring in our step. They provide humor which helps generate smiles and they serve to lead us a soulful contemplation of history-all be it from our own perspective which after all is as good as any other opinion, and, should be as free. As artworks however, such such songs  are not the sole property of one group. They can serve us all.

Stay a while and listen and sing!
Make yourself comfortable -
-Which one is Your Favorite?
-Perhaps you might request it down at the pub---If your request
receives an angry reaction perhaps you should have a word with
the management concerning tolerance and freedom of expression!
Below you will encounter: wit, fun, poetic charm, and, a great feeling
of artistic merryment which goes far beyond any dry and dusty political speech!
So....enjoy the music! Let us know what you think? But more importantly ask your local musicians and music stores to also discover this grand ballad tradition and help to bring it to a wider public. Below you will find an e. Mail form for your comments.
Let me know what you think?  Why do you think that this music is not
more available?

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Send Me your comments! Send e. Mail!
Unless otherwise indicated songs are from either ( see ABC notation for citation:)

Lilliburlero!,Vol.2,The Ulster Society,1988

or: The Orange Lark,Second Edition,The Ulster Society,1987. The Orange Sentinal
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To the Orange Pages Click Here
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The Editor of these pages Conrad Bladey, Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2007


Sources For the Music:

Most well known sources for Irish and Celtic Music or Folk Music do not carry either the sheet music or recordings of the Music of this tradition. We encourage you to ask your favorite music stores to carry this music.
Following some songs is a rendering of the tune in ABC format.
This is a text based format which allows a program to play the
file via the internal speaker of the computer without the aid of
a soundcard. For more information about this program
Go To:To the ABC2WIN Program Page.

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  About inclusion and tolerance...

" To learn how much is mutually to
be loved, that we may love it; how much mutually is to be disliked, that we may forgive it.

C.G. Duffy, wrote these lines in 1845. They should ring true for anyone who disputes the ethics of collecting the songs of all traditions
Today it is the exception rather than the rule to find musicians, cds, even record bins in the stores censoring perfectly good well written
treasures of songs, melodies and ballads just because they find themselves in disagreement with the point of view. There are all kinds of
reasons for finding a way to keep from destroying or burying the treasures of human creativity. I think Duffy makes some great points below
For my purposes in my own collection here I find myself with limited time and energy and space. My task here is not to provide an entire
collection of all the songs of the island of Ireland but to make up for past imbalances.

In arranging the ballads we have rather contrasted
than classified them.
They are placed neither in order of time
nor in distinct classes ; but rather with a view
to suggest variety and comparison ; and to afford
the greatest amount of enjoyment. If our bardic
and our middle-age minstrelsy had become familiar
to the country, in the originals, or in
adequate translations, the time for classification
would have arrived. But we must collect before
we discriminate
, and we are still in the
first stage. "When all our stores are gathered
and "—when we can read the native

songs on the Danish raids, on the English
Invasion, on the Pale, on the Reformation, on
the Penal Laws, .on the Jacobite struggles, and
compare with them the Scandinavian skalds, the
poetry and literature, (native or imported,)
which flourished inside the Pale, the songs that
were sung in the Cromwellian bawns, in the
mansions of the Orange squirearchy and in the
farm-houses of the Orange yeomanry, we will
have insights into the heart of History which a
tower-full of state papers would not afford.
Then the classification of our native poetry will
become a work of science.

…We need not apologise for making this not a
party or sectarian, but strictly a national collection. "
Whatever could illustrate the character,
passions, or opinions of any class of Irishmen,
that we gladly adopted. Our duty is to know
each other. To learn how much is mutually to
be loved, that we may love it; how much mutually is

to be disliked, that we may forgive it.
Kvrrythiog contributing to this end ought to be
regarded as precious. Some of the Ulster ballads,
of a restricted and provincial spirit, having
less in common with Ireland than with Scotland ;
two or three Orange ballads, altogether
ferocious or foreign in their tendencies, (preaching
murder, or deifying an Alien,) will be no less
valuable to the patriot or the poet on this account.
They echo faithfully the sentiments of a
strong, vehement, and indomitable body of Irishmen,
who may come to battle for their country
better than ever they battled for their prejudices
or their bigotries. At all events, to know what
they love and believe is a precious knowledge.
Every household in Scotland, from the peasant-
farmer's upwards, as Lockhart proudly assures
us, has its copy of Burns, lying side by side
with the family bible. The young men, nurtured
upon this strong food, go forth to contend
with the world; and in every kingdom of
the earth they are to be found, filling posts of
trust and honour, trustfully and honourably. In
Germany every boy—student, apprentice, or
peasant—learns the ballads of Schiller and
Goethe with his first catechism; and from boyhood
to old age they furnish a feast that never
(unreadable) that grows stronger with

use. In the Northern countries the national skalds,
recounting the early triumphs of the Sea-kings (
in which their encounters with the Irish Princes
form a large and to us unspeakably interesting
portion) are still sung or circulated habitually as
a section of their permanent literature. In Ar-
ragon and Castile the chronicles of the Cid, and
the ballads of their long and heroic struggles
against the Moor, still feud that noble pride of
race, which lifts the Spanish people above the
meaner vices, and make them in spirit and conduct
a nation of gentlemen.
It would be hasty and presumptuous to assume
that our native ballads will ever exercise
a corresponding influence. But surely it is
greatly to be desired that they should. A people
without native poetry, are naked to a multitude
of evil influence?. Not only do they want the true
nursing mother of patriotism and virtue, but their
first impressions of literature—the impressions
that pursue us through life like our shadows—are
liable to be caught from a foreign, a prejudiced,
or a poisonous source. A source perilous to their
public or their personal virtue."

-The Ballad Poetry of Ireland, Ed: C.G. Duffy, 1845.

To the top of the Main Index of the Songbook Click Here
To return way back to the top click here
To the Orange Pages Click Here
To the Irish  Studies Pages
Click Here
Our main pages are here: clickit