This song came to me in a dream, described in my Dream Diary. It refers to a historic event, where an enthusiastic priest, in Cromwell's time, raised a rabble army and marched them foolishly into a valley of death. However, the name "Ard Hessly" was a concoction of the dream and not the name of a real place. It can be sung to the air of "Only our rivers run free."
Welcome, men, to Ard Hessly,
Whose priests, holy men of the cloth,
Will lift your faith to a frenzy,
And all for the glory of God.
For the glory of God and for Ireland,
They'll raise your spirits so high,
You'll arm with poor home-made weapons,
And march into battle to die.
You will join the priests' rabble army
And march down the valley to death,
Entrapped by Cromwell's grim army,
Which will encircle you in its net.
The net will close in around you,
Leaving no route of escape.
They'll slaughter you with sharp weapons,
And then all your women will rape.
Woe to the priests of Ard Hessly,
Who've wasted the best of our men,
Who could have learned war in the mountains,
And then fought for Ireland again,