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No More the Hammer Strikes the Anvil

Sean Mac Eoins forge in Ballinalee
Sean Mac Eoins forge in Ballinalee

No more the hammer strikes the anvil
As the blacksmith discussed the news
With the clients from the country
As he hammered on horseshoes
And fixed items of iron
In the furnaces flames
As they talked culture, war and politics
The future and sports games.

All shades of opinion walked through its doors
The issues of the day did debate
And the blacksmith had his opinion
On the emerging state
As a landlord class looked on in wonder
At the loss of all they held dear
As the future looked a one of hope
For the tenant – for the landlord it was of fear.

To church and chapel on a Sunday morning
Each to his own to pray
Asked God to look upon their side
And by them in times of trouble to stay.
And time it passed as it always does
And the world was rearranged
Borders made where before there never was
And for some all was unchanged.

The poor they still were poor as ever
And the freedom of which they did brag
Brought nothing, as Connolly had warned
But for a change of flag.
The tyrants of the Saxon had gone
To their motherland they had flown
And the one who exploits the working class
Are of their faith and race: their own.

The landlords house was torn down
To avenge the Saxons guilt
For tearing down a monastery
From which the house was built.
And a nation of one faith stood
Their like and likes beside
Claimed they were of the faith of God
Committing the mortal sin of Pride.

Within which little children
Suffered pain, with no voice
For the pleasures of another
And they had no choice
But silent to keep
For no one would believe
A child who suffered such things
Itself a nation did deceive

And this is the freedom we made for ourselves
For which Britain is not to blame
And all knew, not just in later years
And that is our nations shame
Clergy and schoolmasters
People of power and respect
Abused the trust of innocents
And countless lives they wrecked.

But that was one topic
As the hammer stroke after stroke
Shaped the hot metal glowing red
Of that it was never spoke.
Do talk of the injustices
Of rents and of your faith
Don’t talk of the wrongs of your own in power
Don’t think ill of those who are great.

And the hammer strikes the anvil no more
As horses are few as cars were then
And time changed all, and yet nothing
And may do so again.
And the hand that wielded the hammer
Forged a new nation from blood
Some say he was right to back the Treaty
Others say that he never should.

And Irishman against Irishman
Each of Erin a son
Took sides, in ballot and by bullet
Each side wielded a gun
Only to settle for much the same
As if they never fought at all
And the bitterness lasts to today
As traitors each other they call.

An honourable Treaty with an honourable enemy
Said the Blacksmith in his speech
A chorus for the ignorant along with the drinks
He bought, being “dacent”, for voters each.
And yet when the time came
Up to the Honourable Enemy to stand
They were neither willing or able
Their beleaguered Irishmen up north to give a helping hand.

Its a lot different than wielding a hammer
Against hot metal in a forge in a village small
Than when your faced with a national crisis
And you have no arms at all
And nyeucks and corner boys
To their communities railed
And though they committed excesses
They succeeded where an Army failed.”

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