Collection of ballads, songsheets. 2 vols. London: J. Pitts, 18051840? University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 Z. Vol. 2.
Pasted to album leaf 8: broadside.
All through the Irish Nation,
For the Emancipation Bill has passed.
And you have got your freedom
O'Connell he will now rejoice,
His troubles now are over,
Though on a bed of thorns he's been
Now he can rest in clover<.>
To give the poor employment,
And keep them all at home at work,
That they may know enjoyment.
That you may love a Protestant.
And have no fuss and bother,
But Catholics and Protestants,
Go hand in hand together<.>
Be ye both of good will,
And that you may be greater friends
By passing this great bill<,> sir,
For full these twenty years or more,
You've bravely fought together
And still united in one cause,
All Britain's foes they'll leather<.>
He has a noble heart sir,
A Protestant he won't despise,
Nor from friendship won't depart sir.
More friends they will ever be
United as one Nation,
<S>o here's success to George our King
And likewise to Emancipation<.>
And to the British Nation,
And all those who so nobly stood,
Up for Emancipation.
And here's to Dan O'Connell too,
And Wellington so clever,
Who did Emancipation bring,
And set us free for ever.
Transcription, annotations and HTML coding largely by Brett Single. Pointed brackets mark conjectural readings and emendations.
The verse lines were presumably sung, and the prose spoken.
Passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829), which secured various political freedoms for Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom, especially Ireland, was brought about largely thanks to the efforts of Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847). Though elected a member of Parliament in 1828, O'Connell, a Roman Catholic, was himself excluded from that body until the passage of the Act. He was known for organizing peaceful public protests, "monster rallies," suing for Catholic Emancipation; these proved successful in the end.
The Duke of Wellington, from 1828 Prime Minister, was a reluctant champion of the Act. Along with Robert Peel, home secretary and leader of the House of Commons, he realized that Catholic Emancipation was necessary to prevent revolt on a scale suggested by O'Connell's massive protests.
For further commentary see Brett Single, "Celtic History and Politics in The Ballads of Seven Dials."
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