Sean MacDiarmada (The Pride of Corranmore)

from by Mick Blake



In 2014, I was commissioned to write a song about Sean MacDiarmada, the Leitrim signatory of the 1916 rising, by Joe McManus of New York and Drumshanbo. This is the result.


Sean MacDiarmada (The Pride of Corranmore)

In the town of Kiltyclogher a monument does stand
To a proud and noble Leitrim man who lived and died for Ireland
He organised an army and he rose against the crown
So Irish men and women would no more be beaten down
And driven by desire to rekindle freedom's flame,
He signed a proclamation that rejected England's claim
To Ireland and her people, her destiny restored
The man was Sean MacDiarmada, the pride of Corranmore

Now on the shores of Lough McNean, there stood a mansion grand
And the landlords that did dwell there were amongst the cruelest in the land
Nine and thirty families Lord Tottenham did rout
Then later Colonel Adamson 100 more cast out
The pain of those evictions young McDermott saw at first hand
And there and then the rebel vowed to one day make a stand
"I'll rid the Irish nation of their likes for evermore"
The pledge of Sean MacDiarmada, the pride of Corranmore

So he planned a Revolution
Preached the fiery gospel of the free
Promised an end to persecution
Til the time was right to strike for liberty

Then one Easter Monday morning, he realised his plan
When poets stood with playwrights, and rose up with the working man
To fight the forces of King George, to set the nation free
Though he knew deep in his heart it could not end in victory
But through the glorious madness of a rising doomed to fail
He hoped his deeds would resurrect the Spirit of the Gael
For six long days they battled til they could take no more
"Enough" said Sean McDiarmada, the pride of Corranmore

On General Maxwell's orders, they took him from his cell
And he hobbled to the prison yard where thirteen of his comrades fell
Then they placed the blindfold on those eyes of cobalt blue
He stood there to attention for his dream would now come true
And when those Sherwood Foresters took aim on that grey dawn
Their bullets would ensure the rebels' legacy lived on
His thoughts returned to Leitrim and McNean's lonely shore
Then they martyred Sean MacDiarmada, the pride of Corranmore

And just as he had intended
His death brought life to the cause
Soon years of tyranny ended
New Irish ways and Irish laws

In the town of Kiltyclogher a monument still stands
To honour you, Mac Diarmada, who lived and died for Ireland
But has your selfless sacrifice turned out to be in vain
For the Ireland that you died for is in bondage once again
And those who climb on stages to commend your noble deeds
Have crucified your people through austerity and greed
The Bailiffs have returned again, evictions by the score,
Where are you, Sean MacDiarmada, the pride of Corranmore
And will your likes be seen again on McNean's plundered shore?
We need you, Sean McDiarmada, the pride of Corranmore


from Oblivious, released March 17, 2017



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Mick Blake Leitrim Village, Ireland

Mick Blake is a singer/songwriter, originally from Letterkenny, now living in Leitrim. His songs have a strong social message. Christy Moore included "Oblviious" on his 2016 album "Lily".

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