Follow Me Up To Carlow

P. J. McCall wrote “Follow Me Up to Carlow” which describes the struggles of Irish clan leaders against British rule in Ireland in the late 16th century.  The Battle of Glenmalure took place in 1580.

Fiach Mac Hugh O’Byrne, the main character, was a wily and ferocious figure who tormented British commanders for 30 years during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  The British government decided to taken care of Fiach and his open defiance of the Crown.  Troops were despatched with the intent to capture him, but as cunning as a fox, Fiach ambushed and routed the English forces in the mountainous terrain of Glenmalure, high in the Wicklow Mountains.

The general idea of the song is to provide a rallying cry to rebel against the British rule

Curse and swear Lord Kildare, Fiach will do what Fiach will dare
Now Fitzwilliam have a care, fallen is your star low
Up with Halberd, out with sword, on well go for by the Lord
Fiach MacHugh has given the word. Follow me up to Carlow.

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