A notice about cookies

This website uses cookies. Some cookies may have been set already. To find out more about our use of cookies you can visit our Privacy policy. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.

 
BETA

This is a prototype - your feedback will help us to improve it.

Publication

The National Anthem

Last updated: 22 February 2019
Published: 1 November 2018
From: Department of the Taoiseach

The national anthem, called ‘The Soldier's Song’/‘Amhrán na bhFiann’, was written by Peadar Kearney either early in 1910 or late in 1909 (according to an affidavit signed by him in 1926).

The music, by Patrick Heeney, is understood to have been composed around the same time. The original English text of ‘The Soldier’s Song’ was first published in Bulmer Hobson’s Irish Freedom newspaper in 1912. ‘The Soldier's Song’ was not widely known until it was sung at the GPO during the Easter Rising of 1916.

Liam Ring (Ó Rinn) was responsible for its first translation into Irish in late 1916 and it was published in the Army magazine, An tÓglach, on 3 November, 1923. On 12 July, 1926, the executive council of the Irish Free State decided to adopt the music of ‘The Soldier's Song’/‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ as the official national anthem.

All three men responsible for the national anthem, Peadar Kearney, Patrick Heeney and Liam Ring (Ó Rinn), were from Dublin’s north inner city and lived within 200 yards of each other.

Amhrán na bhFiann

Seo díbh a chairde duan óglaigh,
Caithréimeach bríomhar ceolmhar,
Ár dtinte cnámh go buacach táid,
'S an spéir go mín réaltógach
Is fonnmhar faobhrach sinn chun gleo
'S go tiúnmhar glé roimh thíocht don ló
Faoi chiúnas chaomh na hoíche ar seol:
Seo libh canaig’ Amhrán na bhFiann.

Curfá:

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

Cois bánta réidh, ar arda sléibhe,
Ba bhuach ár sinsir romhainn,
Ag lámhach go tréan faoin sárbhrat séin
Tá thuas sa ghaoth go seolta
Ba dhúchas riamh dár gcine cháidh
Gan iompáil siar ó imirt áir,
'S ag siúl mar iad i gcoinne namhad
Seo libh, canaig’ amhrán na bhFiann.

Curfá

A bhuíon nach fann d'fhuil Ghaeil is Gall,
Sin breacadh lae na saoirse,
Ta sceimhle 's scanradh i gcroithe namhad,
Roimh ranna laochra ár dtíre.
Ár dtinte is tréith gan spréach anois,
Sin luisne ghlé san spéir anoir,
'S an bíobha i raon na bpiléar agaibh,
Seo libh, canaig’ amhrán na bhFiann.
Curfá

The Soldier’s Song

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song,
With cheering rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o'er us,
Impatient for the coming fight,
And as we wait the morning's light,
Here in the silence of the night,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Chorus

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 bhaoil’
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal,
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.**
In valley green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
And conquered 'neath the same old flag,
That's proudly floating o'er us.
We're children of a fighting race,
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march, the foe to face,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Chorus

Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking,
The serried ranks of Inisfail,
Shall set the Tyrant quaking.
Our camp fires now are burning low,
See in the east a silv'ry glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
So chant a soldier's song.
Chorus

A section of the National Anthem (consisting of the first four bars followed by the last five) is also the Presidential Salute. Listen to the 'Army Band' playing the National Anthem below

A sign-language version of the National Anthem is available below.