Was doing some research on Thomas Moore for a project, and came upon the following Wikipedia article on the song "The Minstrel Boy". Thought it might be of interest:
"The Minstrel Boy" is a song written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of The Moreen, an old Irish air. It is widely believed that Moore composed the song in remembrance of a number of his friends, whom he met while studying at Trinity College, Dublin and who had participated in (and were killed during) the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. However, the song gained widespread popularity and became a favorite of many Irishmen who fought during the United States Civil War. The text of the original song follows:
The minstrel boy to the war has gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" cried the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy right shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!
The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!
During the American Civil War, a third verse, steeped in Christian eschatology, is added.
The minstrel boy will return one day,
When we hear the news, we will cheer it.
The minstrel boy will return we pray,
Torn in body, perhaps, but not in spirit.
Then may he play his harp in peace,
In a world such as Heaven intended,
For every quarrel of Man must cease,
And every battle shall be ended.