Footsteps of James Connolly

Last Updated on 29 April 2024 by gerry

Recorded at Shay’s Studio, April 2005

Also recorded by Patsy Mack, c1995

A hundred years before I saw the light of morn,
In Edinburgh’s Cowgate James Connolly was born.
The streets of Little Ireland were his home for many years,
From the West Port to Saint Mary’s Street, you feel him very near.

Oh how I love to walk
In the footsteps of the young James Connolly.
Oh how I love to walk
In the footsteps of that great man.

Well, in 1911 to Belfast he came
To organise the union – the women and the men.
The Orangemen and bishops, they were most terrified
To see Catholic and Protestant march side by side.

Here’s to that non-sectarian band
Marching through Belfast for the union’s demand.
The fife and the drum scorned the old Orange tricks
And the Ancient Hibernians’ stones and sticks.


Well, the national question was clear in his mind.
For an Irish Republic the workers must rise.
Revolution was needed, reform would never do
And the number of counties would be thirty-two.


So if you’re walking through the Cowgate, this dark and lonely night.
Remember young James Connolly and keep the flame alight.
The social and the national, he swam in both those streams,
For a socialist republic of Ireland was his dream.


Copyright © 1988 Gerry Mulvenna

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