The Foggy Dew is a stirring Irish patriotic song commemorating the failed Easter Uprising of 1916 against England. On the morn of Easter Monday the people of Dublin witnessed the shocking sight of a citizen army taking position in the city center. The English military retaliated with machine guns, artillery and naval bombardment. For 7 days the city of Dublin saw war. In the end the Irish were defeated, but the brutality of the English victors set in motion a wave of public
indignation that only strengthened the move for Irish independence.
Though some portray the uprising as a product of enlightenment ideals, evidence overwhelmingly shows it to have been a staunchly Catholic movement. The
Rosary was prayed constantly in the Irish headquarters while soldiers attended Mass and confession whenever possible. While most bishops feared to oppose wartime England, at least 20 priests risked their lives and limbs to attend to the wounded and dying Irishmen and women during the week long siege.
The Foggy Dew was written by Fr. Charles O’Neill. It is sung here by Tommy Makem.
Listen to The Foggy Dew
It was down a glen one Easter morn,
To a city fair rode I,
There Ireland's lines of marching men,
In squadrons passed me by.
No pipes did hum, and no battle drum,
Did sound its dread tattoo,
But the Angelus Bell o'er the Liffey's swell,
Rang out in the foggy dew.
Right proudly high over Dublin Town,
We hung out the flag of war,
For 'twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky,
Than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar,
And from the plains of Royal Meath,
Strong men came hurrying through,
While Britannia's sons, with their long range guns,
Sailed in by the foggy dew.
It was England bade our wild geese go,
That "small nations might be free",
But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves,
Or the fringe of the grey North Sea.
Oh, had they died by Pearse's side,
Or fought with Valera true,
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep,
'Neath the hills of the foggy dew.
The bravest fell, and the solemn bell,
Rang mournfully and clear,
For those who died that Eastertide,
In the springing of the year,
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze,
At those fearless men, and true,
Who bore the fight that freedom's light,
Might shine through the foggy dew.