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Performed and Produced by Billy Webster
Lead Guitar by Carl Basler
Recorded at The Jersey Dream, 2022

Lyrics

Well, I am a modern hero, my name is Paddy Kearney
Not long ago, I landed from the bogs of sweet Killarney
I used to cry out "Soap fat" because that was my trade sir
'Till I 'listed for a soldier boy with Corcoran's brigade, sir
For to fight for Uncle Sam,
He'll lead us on to glory, O!
He'll lead us on to glory, O!
To save the stripes and stars
Oh, once in regimentals, me mind it did bewilder
I bid goodbye to Biddy dear and all the darling children
Says I, the Irish volunteers, the devil one afraid is
Because we've got the soldier bold McClellan for to lead us
Chorus
We soon got into battle, we made a charge of bayonets
The rebel blaggards soon gave way, they fell as thick as paynuts
Oh, hone, the slaughter that we made, be dad, it was delighting
For the Irish lads in action are the devil's boys for fighting
Chorus
And now, before I end my song, this free advice I'll tender
We soon will use the rebels up and make them all surrender
And once again, the stars and stripes will to the breeze be swellin'
If Uncle Abe will give us back our darlin' boy McClellan
We'll follow little Mac
He'll lead us on to glory, O!
He'll lead us on to glory, O!
To save the stripes and stars
For to fight for Uncle Sam
He'll lead us on to glory, O!
To save the stripes and stars

*This song was set to the tune of “Whiskey in the Jar,” which is one of the oldest Irish folk songs still commonly sang as it dates back to the 17th century. it wasn’t long after the rebels opened fire in Charleston and Lincoln mobilized the North in April of 1861 that Irish soldiers changed the lyrics and renamed the song, “We’ll Fight for Uncle Sam.”

*“Cocoran’s brigade,” refers to Michael Corcoran, an Irish-born general who repeatedly lead the 69th into battle up until his death in 1863.

*George McClellan is one of the more complicated figures of the Civil War. Put in charge of the Army of the Potomac after Gen. Winfield Scott was removed due to losing First Bull Run, McClellan instantly became a celebrity in the eyes of his troops. The army’s loyalty to McClellan clearly was unparalleled and for the Irish troops it was perhaps even unmatched by loyalty to the nation.