“Come to the Bower”


Come to the land of the Irish heroes: O'Neill, O'Donnell, Lord Lucan, O'Connell, Brian and St Patrick. Visit Dublin and the battlefields. "Will you come and awake our lost land from its slumber and her fetters we will break ... come to the bower"


Among the historical characters mentioned in this song:

O'Donnell - Probably "Red Hugh" O'Donnell, leader of the 1594 war against the English; for his career see, e.g., "O'Donnell Aboo (The Clanconnell War Song)."

O'Neill - There were many O'Neills of significance for Irish history; the likeliest, given the context, is Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, ally of Red Hugh O'Donnell (again, see the notes to "O'Donnell Aboo (The Clanconnell War Song)").

O'Connell - Obviously Daniel O'Connell, the campaigner for Irish rights; there are at least two songs bearing his name, and many more which allude to him, e.g. "By Memory Inspired" and "A Nation Once Again."

Brian - Brian Boru, winner of the Battle of Clontarf; see "Remember the Glories of Brian the Brave."

Owen Roe - Owen Roe O'Neill (c. 1582-1649), nephew of Red Hugh O'Neill; he served for a time in the Netherlands, then fought against the English in Ireland in the 1640s, though he did not cooperate very well with other Nationalist leaders.

Munroe - Robert Munroe, a Scottish general who was defeated by Owen Roe O'Neill at Benburb. - RBW

Historical references

  • June 5, 1646 - Battle of Benburb. Owen Roe O'Neill defeats Robert Munroe
  • June 5, 1798 - Battle of New Ross - Wexford rebels attack the small garrison (about 1400 men, many militia) at New Ross, but are repelled

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn 96, "Come to the Bower" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #3045
  4. BI, OLoc096


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (OLochlainn)
Found in: Ireland