This song about Ireland was written by Tommy Makem in 1967 wherein Ireland is personified as an “old woman” and its four provinces are the “green fields”.  Makem had taken a drive through “no man’s land” where he saw an old woman tending livestock.  She saw the land as older than the politic boundary turmoil, didn’t care what the boundaries were on the map.

“I had four green fields, each one was a jewel
But strangers came and tried to take them from me”

The British are the “strangers”

“I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels
They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she”

The sons, being the Irish people who died to defend the land.

“But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers
My fourth green field will bloom once again said she”

At the end of the song, one of her fields (Ulster) still shows the promise of new growth and possible hope for unification.

About sbalagna

IAS Vice President 2012-2013; IAS President 2013-2015; 2016-2017
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