Men of New Basin Canal (Lyrics)

lyrics by Jamie Haeuser, music by Marc Gunn

Performed by Marc Gunn
From CD: How America Saved Irish Music

We came to find a bit of land
Land our fathers never had
No land we found but only death
From fever, the yellow jack
The yellow jack, one day you’re up
The next you’re in the grave
A grave they call New Basin Canal
For us six miles of pain

Heave ho, boyo, it’s dig and death
Heave ho, God help us all

O‘Hanlan was the first to fall
Then down went Mike O’Shea
The boss called up and down the line
For men to bear away
The men who fell, hundreds a day
Shakin’ like a Mayo gale
Too few there were to dig the trench
Too few to bear away.

Why is it Erin’s sons are called
When slaves they cannot spare
When earth and water must be moved
To make the rich man’s share
From lake to river to move the goods
That make the rich men more
we fall, we fall time and again
And none to hear our prayer

But we will rise, somehow, sometime
To rule those who rule us
We’ll fight to o’ercome the loss
so many of Ireland’s best
Many will die but most will live
Will live to make our mark
New Orleans own of Ireland born
Men of New Basin Canal