The Sword of Erin (Charles Villiers Stanford)

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  • CPDL #25869:        (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Ian Haslam (submitted 2012-04-07).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 45 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In the original score, bar 30, the crotchet word was 'Which' in the Soprano and Alto line. This has been changed to 'Have' to agree with the Tenors and Basses and the original poem. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: The Sword of Erin
Composer: Charles Villiers Stanford

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1901

Description: No. 4 of Six Irish Folksongs Op. 78. Originally published by Boosey and Co.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Avenging and bright fall the swift sword of Erin
On him who the brave sons of Usna betray'd!
For every fond eye he hath waken'd a tear in
A drop from his heart-wounds shall weep o'er her blade.

By the red cloud that hung over Conor's dark dwelling,
When Ulad's three champions lay sleeping in gore
By the billows of war, which so often, high swelling,
Have wafted these heroes to victory's shore.

We swear to avenge them! - no joy shall be tasted,
The harp shall be silent, the maiden unwed,
Our halls shall be mute, and our fields shall lie wasted,
Till vengeance is wreak'd on the murderer's head.

Yes, monarch! though sweet are our home recollections,
Though sweet are the tears that from tenderness fall;
Though sweet are our friendships, our hopes, our affections,
Revenge on a tyrant is sweetest of all!