Another song that’s featured in my Donovan family series, this song tells the story of a bold highwayman of the 1700s in County Cork who, like Robin Hood, stole from the rich to give to the poor. You can hear a live version of it by The Clancy Brothers here.
BRENNAN ON THE MOOR
‘Tis of a brave young highwayman this story I will tell,
His name was Willie Brennan and in Ireland he did dwell.
It was on the Kilwood Mountain he commenced his wild career,
And many a wealthy nobleman before him shook with fear.
It was Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor,
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor.
One day upon the highway as Willie he went down,
He met the mayor of Cashiell a mile outside of town.
The mayor he knew his features and he said, “Young man,” said he,
‘Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me.”
Now Brennan’s wife had gone to town provisions for to buy,
And when she saw her Willie, she commenced to weep and cry,
He said, “Hand to me that ten penny.” As soon as Willie spoke,
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak.
Now with this loaded blunderbuss – the truth I will unfold –
He made the mayor to tremble and he robbed him of his gold.
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there,
So he, with horse and saddle to the mountains did repair.
Now Brennan being an outlaw upon the mountains high,
With cavalry and infantry to take him they did try.
He laughed at them with scorn until at last, ’twas said,
By a false-hearted woman he was cruelly betrayed.