The Irish Drummer
Words: Trad. Music: Tom Walsh

A song from the Napoleonic era reminds us painfully that the Irish were fighting on
both sides in the “lowlands Low” i.e., the Netherlands and Belgium. Like many a
song that utilisizes war as its theme this song is no exception with its references
to the heroic elements and metaphors engaging anti-war sentiments.


Aint I the drummer that goes to the fight.
Only hear me with joy you’ll be stunned with delight.
The likes of my fame, sure no mortal enjoys.
For nobody makes such a devil of a noise.

With sticks in my hands, I rattle away.
How sweetly they come to the sound of my drum.
It’s onward to battle, may never return.

Advancing the last and retreating the first,
When we’re covered with smoke and with glory and dust.
Amongst heroes that follow, and heroes that fly.
If a devil of a thundering you’ll hear, why that’s I.

With sticks in my hands...

The fun that you see with delight and surprise,
If the devilish smoke did not put out your own eyes.
In the lovely, Dutch concert of shreiks and dismay.
Sure aint it my soul the first fiddle I play.
With sticks in my hands...

Like herrings all smoked, from the fields where we’ve come,
Our battles abroad we are fighting at home.
My share I contend for with body and breath,
Though, I nobody killed, sure half stunned them death.
With sticks in my hands...