The Orange Lilly "O"

The Orange Lilly "O"

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Sash My Father Wore (V)

Sure I'm an Ulster Orangeman, from Ulster's Shore I came,
To see my British Brethren all of honour and of fame,
And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore,
That I might have the right to wear, the sash my father wore!

It is old but it is beautiful, and its colours they are fine,
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne,
My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore,
And on the Twelfth I love to wear the sash my father wore.

For those brave men who crossed the Boyne have not fought or died in vain,
Our Unity, Religion, Laws and Freedom to maintain,
If the call should come we'll follow the drum, and cross that river once more,
That tomorrow's Ulsterman may wear the sash my father wore!

And when some day, across the sea to Antrim's shore you come,
We'll welcome you in royal style, to the sound of flute and drum,
And Ulster's hills shall echo still from Rathlin to Dromore,
As we sing again the loyal strain of the sash

 The sash was the winner of a Grand Lodge of Scotland song competition at the end of the 19th century. Dr Clifford Smyth states that there are at least 6 different versions of the sash and perhaps more than that. It is not the most strident of Orange songs as you can scan the lines of it and find nothing to offend anyone in its verses. Above are two of the most popular versions. To hear more from Dr Smyth follow the link here to an hour long recording of a Radio Ulster programme from 1991 where he gives a potted history of the song.

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