This combines the 1841 Afghan War, 1857 Revolt and the regiment’s travails at sea.
Come gather round you Irishmen, till I relate this tale;
‘Twill your hearts fill with grief and make your cheeks grow pale.
Till I mourn the death of those boys, that brave and gallant band,
Whose bones lie bleached upon India ‘s distant land
For many a sigh and bitter tear will now break forth in vain,
And many a bright and tender girl mourn for her love that’s slain—
And many a mothers grieved to think the sons that they have borne
That they are left for food for beasts on India ‘s salty shore,
Ten thousand of those Irish lads their hearts from terror free,
To serve the country and their Queen they ploughed the raging sea;
Their hearts were strong, their cause was good, their hopes of victory high.
But now their bones unburied rot beneath an Indian sky,
Proud England now might hide her head with grief and bitter shame.
She lost the warriors whom she thought would swell her land with fame:
But as you swell flies from the wall so crushed was every man;
Disgraced, defeated and destroyed, all by this Indian clan.
There’s the 22 nd and the 44 th , those brave heroes of renown,
Who last recruited their brave ranks with boys from Belfast town
The North of Ireland now must grieve since many a lad was slain,
Their butchered bodies scattered lie beneath an Indian clime.
The young and tender women too, their fond hearts felt no fear,
They faced the thickest winds and rain, clung to their husbands dear,
How can I paint that awful fate, of females fond and mild,
The high and low, the rich and poor, abused by Indians wild.
The ladies of our officers as well as soldier’s wives,
They made them work like common slaves, or else they’d take their lives;
Sir William McNaughton’s tender wife an Ulster lady born,
Like a beast they tied her to their mill to grind their Indian corn.
Sir William being an Antrim man that never yet felt fear,
Those Indians black chopped off his head and placed it on a spear
But while the officers all ran we never yet did yield,
But stood our ground like Britons bold, and died upon the field
Should British valour thus be stained? Does British valour sleep?
The ghosts of those ill-fated men calls vengeance from the deep.
But the bodies of brave Irishmen unburied shan’t remain;
Ten thousand tombs we’ll erect for them made of the Indian slain
Come all you loyal Irishmen, take warning by this fate,
Attend unto your parent’s voice before it is to late;
Be constant to your sweethearts and never from them roam,
But live with them in joy and peace in your sweet native home.
May heaven preserve poor Irishmen from every foreign foe,
May heaven protect poor England too, from every cause of woe.
God bless her noble virtuous Queen may honour crown her cause,
May she amend the poor man’s lot with a good & virtuous cause.