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FAIR IRELAND Lyrics

Artist: Peter, Paul & Mary
Album: Flowers and Stones

They build bombs and aim their pistols in the shadow of the cross
And they swear an oath of vengeance to the martyrs they have lost
But they pray for peace on Sundays with a rosary in each hand
It's long memories and short tempers that have cursed poor Ireland
It's long memories and short tempers that have cursed poor Ireland

We have cousins on the old sod and we don't forget our kin
From Boston we send more guns and we tell them they can win
Then we turn back to our green beer and to MacNamara's Band
It's true friends with false perceptions that have cursed poor Ireland
True friends with false perceptions that have cursed poor Ireland

They weave tales of wit and magic and their songs are strong and free
But they fail to hear each other, prisoners of history
Orange flags wave for the British to greet the army's clicking heel
And Irish curse their Irish brother for the altar where they kneel
And now provoked to greater anger by the distant royal hand
It's old hatreds and young victims that have cursed poor Ireland
Old hatreds and young victims that have cursed poor Ireland

So we're left with retribution it's the cycle of the damned
And the hope becomes more distant as the flames of hate are fanned
Who will listen to the children for they're taught to take their stand
They say love and true forgiveness can still heal fair Ireland
They say love and true forgiveness can still heal fair Ireland

Only love and real forgiveness can still heal fair Ireland
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