“No Surrender (II)”


"Behold the crimson banner float" recalling "when Derry's sons ... sung out, 'No Surrender!'" and "her 'Prentice hearts the gate who barred" "Long may that crimson banner wave ... while Derry's sons alike defy Pope, Traitor, or Pretender"


The chorus ("Then here's to the boys that fear no noise And never will surrender, The gates we'll close against her foes On Eighteenth of December") uses the Gregorian Calendar (adopted in England in 1752) date, adding eleven days to the anniversary of December 7, 1688.

"This fraternity [The Apprentice Boys Of Derry] celebrates twice anually. This happens first at the "Closing of the Gates". Later comes the "Relief of Derry" parade .... The flag of the Apprentice Boys is a crimson banner, representing the blood that flowed in Derry for freedom and liberty. The Crimson banner is flown from the Memorial Hall in the city and from St Columb's Cathedral, which was built before the siege." (Source: Wikipedia article _Apprentice Boys of Derry_)

Sparling: "Written to a very fine old Irish melody (Joyce, p. 83)...." I don't recognize Graham's tune. "Joyce" is P.W. Joyce and the book _Ancient Irish Music_ (Sparling, p. xxvii, refers to the 1878 edition. - BS

For the background of the Siege of (London)derry, see the notes to "The Shutting of the Gates of Derry"; also "No Surrender (I)". Blacker, in addition to this song, wrote the very well known "The Battle of the Boyne (I)." - RBW

Historical references

  • Dec 7, 1688 - The "Apprentice Boys" close the Londonderry gates against Lord Antrim's "Redshanks" (source: Cecil Kilpatrick, "The Seige of Derry: A City of Refuge" at the Canada-Ulster Heritage site)

Cross references


  1. Graham, p. 3, "No Surrender" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ADDITIONAL: H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 451-452, 495-496, "No Surrender"
  3. BI, Grah003


Alternate titles: “The Crimson Banner”
Author: Lieut. Colonel William Blacker (1777-1853)(written 1817, source: Sparling)
Earliest date: c.1895 (Graham)