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Lyr Req: Fighting Tom Sweeny (Derek Warfield)

Celtic-End Singer 21 Jun 08 - 10:21 AM
Peace 21 Jun 08 - 08:21 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Jun 08 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 26 Jun 08 - 07:57 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Jun 08 - 11:55 PM
Celtic-End Singer 27 Jun 08 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,999--it's on YOUTUBE 09 Jan 10 - 03:52 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Jan 10 - 07:40 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Jan 10 - 03:12 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jan 10 - 08:30 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jan 10 - 02:44 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Celtic-End Singer
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 10:21 AM

Heard this one recently for the first time in a long time. Anyone out there got all the words?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:21 PM

I'm pretty sure you'd find "Fightin' Tom Sweeney" on Youtube.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 03:08 AM

I haven't found the song, but I found this information:

Thomas William Sweeny ("Fightin' Tom") (1820 – 1892) was an American soldier who served in the Mexican-American War and then was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Sweeny was born at Cork, Ireland.... In 1866, he commanded the ill-fated Fenian invasion of Canada, after which he was arrested for breaking neutrality laws between the United States and Britain, but was soon released.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 07:57 AM

Tom is also the bass player with Kerfuffle!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 11:55 PM

FIGHTIN' TOM SWEENY is on Derek Warfield's album "Sons of Erin: Irish Songs, Ballads & Music of the American Civil War."

This is the only recording I've been able to identify. I have not found any lyrics or sound samples.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Celtic-End Singer
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 08:15 PM

Thanks Jim Dixon! Managed to get a copy of this album and this is definitely the song in question. Thanks a bunch.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: GUEST,999--it's on YOUTUBE
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 03:52 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdwCka4k0sI


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 07:40 AM

That would be Thomas William Sweeny (note spelling; YouTube has it wrong) (click for the article at Wikipedia).

There is a 9-page article about him in The Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society, Volume 2 (Boston: American-Irish Historical Society, 1899), page 193ff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fightin Tom Sweeny
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 03:12 PM

I listened to the YouTube recording but I found it practically impossible to transcribe.


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Subject: ADD: Sweeny of Shiloh (Kelly/Warfield)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 08:30 PM

I got it, but have to edit this post after dinner.

SWEENY OF SHILOH
(words by James Edward Kelly, Music by Derek Warfield)

As Sunday dawns on Shiloh
From out the dark, gaunt Pines,
Bursts Sidney Johnson's vanguard,
On Grant's raw, battle lines.
The dread ravine re-echoes,
With crash and batteries roar
Their rebel yell high Peeling
With Hardee at the fore.
Back huddling on the river,
Swirls Sherman's crushed command,
And' cross the course of conquest,
Tom Sweeny takes his stand

Chorus
He says we're here to die men
While lit by sunset's glow,
His flag he points to heaven.
And his bayonets to the foe,
He saves Grant's waning glory,
And Sherman's laurels too,
And Buell's rescue column,
Comes bristling in to view,
When swaying in the saddle,
He's slowly led away,
And Cheers rang out for "Fighting Tom"
The saviour of the day

Firm cheerful, keen and valiant,
He curbs his chaffing horse;
Amid his hard-pressed soldiers,
He stands an untold force.
His sword-arm sleeve hangs empty,
It tells them of his past;
This day they feel means victory,
Or it will be his last.
His lone left arm is wounded
Down drops his bridle rein;
His horse is pierced by bullets,
He grimly mounts again.

Chorus
He says we're here to die ete.

For the honour of the army,
Now rests with him to-day;
His men's true, steady volleys:,
Repel the lines of gray
Each mad assault grows stronger,
As his brave soldiers fall;
Re-echoing his order
To clear loud, crisp bugle's call
'Bring 'up, bring up the colours
'Tis answered 'mid a cheer
His thin line rallies 'round him,
With the colours in his rear.

Chorus
He says we're here to die ete.

Recorded on "Sons of Erin" CD (Music D. Warfield)
words: James Edward Kelly

Source: Irish Songster of the American Civil War, by Derek Warfield (pp. 41-42)


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Subject: Lyr Add: SWEENY AT SHILOH (James Edward Kelly)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jan 10 - 02:44 PM

From The Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society, Volume 27, 1928, page 271:

SWEENY AT SHILOH—April 6th, 1862
By James Edward Kelly

The Sabbath dawns on Shiloh,
From out the dark, gaunt pines,
Bursts Sidney Johnston's vanguard,
On Grant's raw, startled lines.
The dread ravine re-echoes,
With crash and batteries' roar,
Their rebel yell high pealing,
With Hardee at the fore.
Back huddling on the river,
Swirls Sherman's crushed command,
When, 'cross the course of conquest,
"Tom" Sweeny takes his stand.

Firm, cheerful, keen and valiant,
He curbs his chafing horse;
Amid his hard pressed soldiers,
He stands—an untold force.
His sword-arm sleeve hangs empty—
It tells them of his past;
This day, they feel, means victory,
Or it will be his last.
His lone left arm is wounded,
Down drops his bridle rein;
His horse is pierced by bullets,
He grimly mounts again.

The honor of the army,
Now rests with him today;
His men's true, steady volleys,
Repel the lines of gray.
Each mad assault grows stronger,
While his brave soldiers fall;
Re-echoing his order
The clear, crisp bugle's call:
"Bring up,—bring up—the colors!
'Tis answered 'mid a cheer—
His thin line rallies 'round him,
With colors in his rear.

He says: 'We're here to die men!
While, lit by sunset glow,
His flag pikes point to Heaven,
His bayonets to the foe.
He saves Grant's waning glory,
And Sherman's laurels, too,
While Buell's rescue column
Comes bristling into view.
Then, swaying in the saddle,
He's slowly led away,
While cheers ring out for Sweeny,—
The "savior of the day!"


[Note that no chorus is indicated as such.

The poem is also in Through American and Irish wars: the Life and Times of General Thomas W. Sweeny, 1820-1892 by Jack Morgan (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2006).

This summary of the book was apparently supplied by the publisher:
    This biography traces the life of Thomas W. Sweeny, who, born in Cork, came to America at the age of twelve with his mother. His life was one of war and adventure and, also shows the way in which the Irish became prominently involved in events such as the Mexican War, the Indian wars, the settlement of California, the Civil War and ultimately in post-Civil War Fenian efforts toward the liberation of Ireland. Sweeny, who rose from a Lieutenant of Volunteers to the rank of General in the US Army, was the Fenian Secretary of War and the designer of the 1866 Fenian invasion attempt on Canada. The book captures the rugged, spirited times during which a large population of Irish settled into American geographical and cultural space.


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