“Gra-mo-chroi. I'd Like to See Old Ireland Free Once More”


"Last night I had a happy dream ... I thought again brave Irishmen Had set old Ireland free" Some modern heroes are named and Father Murphy and the Wexford men of ninety-eight. "It's Gra-mo-chroi, I'd like to see old Ireland free once more"

Supplemental text

Gra-mo-chroi. I'd Like to See Old Ireland Free Once More
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

Gra Machree

As sung by Margaret Barry. Recorded in 1953 by Alan Lomax and found
on Barry's recording "I Sang Through the Fairs" (Rounder 11661-1774-2).

Last night I dreamed a happy dream,
though restless where I be,
I thought again brave Irishman
would set old Ireland free.
And all excited I became when
I heard the cannons roar,
O gra machree, I long to see old Ireland
free once more.

(3 additional stanzas)


This song mentions many heroes of Irish freedom, most of whom are the heroes of other songs:

For (Daniel) O'Connell, see "Daniel O'Connell (I)" and "Daniel O'Connell (II)."

For Lord Edward (Fitzgerald), the sort-of-leader of the 1798 United Irishmen, see the notes to "The Green Above the Red."

For Wolfe Tone, the Irish Protestant who helped organize the failed invasion of 1796, see especially "The Shan Van Voght."

For Robert Emmet, the rebel against the post-1798 Union, see among others "Bold Robert Emmet, "Emmet's Death," "Emmet's Farewell to His Sweetheart," and "My Emmet's No More."

For Father Murphy and his role in the 1798 rebellion, plus the Battle of Vinegar Hill, see the notes to "Father Murphy (I)" and the references there; also "Sweet County Wexford."

"Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien" were the "Manchester Martyrs," for whom see especially "The Smashing of the Van (I)." - RBW

Historical references

  • 1775-1847 - Life of Daniel O'Connell
  • 1778 - Birth of Robert Emmet
  • 1796 - A French fleet (carrying, among others, Wolfe Tone) sets out for Ireland
  • May 26, 1798 - Beginning of the Wexford rebellion
  • May 27, 1798 - The Wexford rebels under Father John Murphy defeat the North Cork militia
  • June 5, 1798 - The Wexford rebels attack the small garrison (about 1400 men, many militia) at New Ross, but are repelled
  • June 21, 1798 - The rebel stronghold a Vinegar Hill is taken, and the Wexford rebellion effectively ended
  • 1803 - Robert Emmet attempts a new rebellion. The revolt is quickly crushed, and Emmet eventually hanged
  • Nov 24, 1867 - Hanging of the Manchester Martyrs; this year also marked the failed Fenian rising

Cross references


  • Margaret Barry, "Gra Machree" (on IRMBarry-Fairs)


  1. OLochlainn 63, "Gra-mo-chroi. I'd Like to See Old Ireland Free Once More" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST OLoc063 (Partial)
  3. Roud #5204
  4. BI, OLoc063


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1912 (OLochlainn)
Found in: Ireland