“The Grave of Wolfe Tone”


"In Bodenstown churchyard there is a green grave ... Once I lay on that sod -- it lies over Wolfe Tone." He wakes to the sound of students and peasants who come to the grave to raise a simple monument "fit for the simple and true"


Given Ireland's recent history, it's ironic to note that Wolfe Tone was a Protestant. For the history of the events that led to his execution, see the notes to "The Shan Van Voght." - RBW

The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:

Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "Bodenstown Churchyard" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "1798 the First Year of Liberty," Hummingbird Records HBCD0014 (1998)) - BS

Historical references

  • Nov 10, 1798 - Wolfe Tone (1763-1798) condemned to execution; he cuts his own throat to avoid hanging as a criminal (his request to face a firing squad had been denied)

Cross references

  • cf. "Emmett's Grave" (tune, broadside Bodleian Harding B 26(690))


  • Bodleian, Harding B 26(690), "Wolfe Tone's Grave!", Haly (Cork), 19C


  • Liam Clancy, "In Bodenstown's Churchyard" (on IRLClancy01)


  1. O'Conor, p. 39, "The Grave of Wolfe Tone" (1 text)
  2. OLochlainn-More 32, "The Grave of Wolfe Tone" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Moylan 121, "The Grave of Wolfe Tone" (1 text)
  4. ADDITIONAL: Edward Hayes, The Ballads of Ireland (Boston, 1859), Vol I, p. 244, "Tone's Grave"
  5. Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 481-482, "Tone's Grave" (1 text)
  6. Roud #9313
  7. BI, OCon039


Author: Thomas Davis (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 1845 (_The Nation_, according to Moylan)
Found in: Ireland