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War with the Whin

“Whin” is the word for furze in Hiberno English and Ulster Scots in the northern half of Ireland (North Leinster and Connacht, and all of Ulster, both the section in the Republic and in Northern Ireland) by the Irish and the Scots, gorse is the name in the east (Dublin  and the old “Pale”), furze was once a symbol of wealth and fertility of land as is emphasized by the saying: “gold under furze, silver under rushes and famine under heather.” In our family, it was seen as a sign of poor land, not of riches! The latest verse restored to the website!
Never known as a sign of wealth in my family, the whins were cursed as being a sign of bad land. But not according to the old saying...
Never known as a sign of wealth in my family, the whins were cursed as being a sign of bad land. But not according to the old saying…

They thought not of it as covering gold, knowing not their wealth,
They knew less than those who went before them to the soil…
They cursed the yellow bush that grew upon their land…
Strived to eradicate it with their toil.

When driving by the fields in other counties, and it was seen,
To curse its yellow blossoms they would begin…
They knew not the saying that famine under heather was,
Silver neath rushes, and gold neath the whin!

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