What’s the news, what’s the news, oh my bold Shelmalier
With your long barrelled gun of the sea?
Say what wind from the south blows his messenger here
With a hymn of the dawn for the free
Goodly news, goodly news, do I bring youth of forth
Goodly news shall you hear, Bargy man
For the boys march at morn from the south to the north
Led by Kelly the boy from Killan
Tell me who is that giant with gold curling hair
He who rides at the head of your band?
Seven feet is his height, with some inches to spare
And he looks like a king in command
Ah my lads that’s the pride of the bold chevaliers
‘Mong our greatest of heroes, a man!
Fling your beavers aloft and give three ringing cheers
For John Kelly, the boy from Killan
Enniscorthy’s in flames, and old Wexford is won
And the Barrow tomorrow we cross
On ahill o’er the town we have planted a gun
That will batter the gateway of Ross
All the Forth men and Bargy men march o’er the heath
With brave Harvey to lead on the van
But the foremost of all in the grim Gap of Death
Will be Kelly, the boy from Killan
But the gold sun of freedom grew darkened at Ross
And it set by the Slaneys red waves
And poor Wexford stript naked hung high on a cross
And her heart pierce by traitors and slaves
Glory O! Glory O! to her brave sons who died
For the cause of long down-trodden man!
Glory O! to Mount Leinster’s own darling and pride
Dauntless Kelly, the boy from Killan.
This famous ballad / marching song was written by Patrick Joseph McCall (1861-1919).
A video of the late Luke Kelly singing the song is available here.