Strumming A New Version of Ireland’s National Anthem

Feb 8, 2014 by

There is a wonderful new version of Ireland’s national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann, (pronounced OW-rawn nuh VEE-un) also called A Soldier’s Song, that’s been recently posted to YouTube.  Paul Quinn, an Irish musician from County Clare,  performs the famous song of the 1916 Easter Uprising as an acoustical guitar solo with verve and skill, breathing a spirit of vitality into a song written more than 100 years ago.  


Composed in English in 1907 by Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney,  the tune became a marching song for Irish rebels in 1916 and throughout the founding of the Irish free State.  The Irish translation was written by Liam Ó Rinn (1888–1950) around 1917  and is the version most commonly sung.  The complete song consists of three stanzas and a chorus, although Ireland’s National Anthem is only the choral refrain.

Amhrán na bhFiann, Ireland’s national anthem

Sinne Fianna Fáil,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chughainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaig amhrán na bhfiann

Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the “bearna baoil”,[fn 4]
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song



This Gaelic version by a different performer gives you a feel for the sound of the Irish version (which is how Irish schoolchildren learn it):


To learn more about Paul Quinn and his music, visit his links:


He has a very popular acoustic version of the theme from Game of Thrones and this gorgeous cover of The Rolling Stones Wild Horses, featuring singer Sinead Boomsma:


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