The Irish Refugee, or Poor Pat Must Emigrate


Transcription of Primary Source

Air: Podgee and Rhu. Sung by J.S. Berry

Fare you well, poor Erin's Isle!
I now must leave you for a while:
The rents and taxes are so high,
I can no longer stay.
From Dublin's quay I sailed away,
And landed here but yesterday:
Me shoes and breeches and shirts now
Are all that's in my kit.
I have dropped in to tell you now
The sights I have seen before I go;
Of the ups and downs in Ireland,
Since the year of Ninety-Eight.
But if that nation had its now,
Her noble sons might stay at home;
But since fortune has it otherwise,
Poor Pat must emigrate.

The devil a word I would say at all,
Although our wages are but small,
If they left us in our cabins,
Where our fathers drew their breath;
When they call upon rent-day,
And the devil a cent you have to pay,
They will drive you from your house and home,
To beg and starve to death.
What kind of treatment, boys, is that
To give an honest Irish Pat?
To drive his family to the road,
To beg and starve for meat?
But I stood up with heart and hand,
And sold my little spot of land:
That is the reason why I left,
And had to emigrate.

Such sights as that I've often seen;
But I saw worse to Skibareen.
In Forty0Eight (that time is no more)
When famine it was great:
I saw fathers, boys, and girls
With rosy cheeks and silken curls,
All a-missing, and starving
For a mouthful of food to eat.
When they died in Skibareen,
No shrouds or coffins were to be seen;
But patiently reconciling themselves
To their desperate, horrid fate...
They were thrown in graves by wholesale
Which cause many an Irish heart to wail...
And caused many a boy and girl
To be most glad to emigrate.

Where is the nation or the land
That reared such men as Paddy's land?
Where is the man more noble
Than he they called poor Irish Pat?
We have fought for England's Queen,
And beat her foes wherever seen:
We have taken the town of Delhi...
If you please, come tell me that:
We have pursued the Indian Chief,
And Nana Sahib, that cursed thief,
Who skivered babes and mothers,
And left them in their gore.
But why should we be so oppressed
In the land Saint Patrick blessed?
The land from which we have the best,
Poor Paddy must emigrate.

There is not a son from Paddy's land
But respects the memory of Dan,
Who fought and struggled hard to part
That poor and plundered country.
He advocated Ireland's rights
With all his strength and might,
And he was but poorly recompensed
For all his toil and pains.
He told us for to be in no haste.
And in him for to place our trust,
And he would not desert us,
Or leave us to our fate:
but Death to him to favor showed:
From the begging to the throne:
Since they took our Liberator,
Poor Pat must emigrate.

With spirits bright and purses light,
My boys, we can no longer stay:
For, the Shamrock is immediately
Bound for America:
For there is bread and worth,
Which I cannot get in Donegal.
I told the truth by great Saint Ruth,
Believe me what I say.
Goodnight! my boys, with hand and heart,
All you who take old Ireland's part;
I can no longer stay at home,
for fear of being too late.
If ever again I see this land,
I hope it will be with a Fenian band;
So God be with old Ireland!
Poor Pat must emigrate.

Curator Notes

Exact Title: 
The Irish Refugee. Or Poor Pat Must Emigrate
Probable Date: 
Between 1864 and 1877
1 sheet
H. De Marsan
Place of Publication: 
New York
26 x 17 cm.
American Antiquarian Society
Catalog Code: 
Ballads P823p 01