Come Out Ye Black and Tans

By Dominic Behan (1929 - 1989)

Audio clip

This example of "Black and Tans" is performed by 3 Pints Gone on their album Home Brew, available from the Chivalry Music store
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Background notes

Written by Dominic Behan, brother of the famous Irish playwright Brendan Behan.  This song is reputedly an account of their father taunting loyalist neighbors after a night of drinking during the Irish war of independence (1919-21).

I was born on a Dublin street where the Royal drums do beat
And the loving English feet they tramped all over us,
And each and every night when me father'd come home tight
He'd invite the neighbors outside with this chorus:

Oh, come out you black and tans,
Come out and fight me like a man
Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders
Tell them how the IRA
Made you run like hell away,
From the green and lovely lanes in Killashandra.

Come let me hear you tell
How you slew the great Parnell,
When you fought them well and truly persecuted,
Where are the smears and jeers
That you bravely let us hear
When our heroes of sixteen were executed.

Come tell us how you slew
Those brave Arabs two by two
Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows,
How you bravely slew each one
With your sixteen pounder gun
And you frightened them poor natives to their marrow.

The day is coming fast
And the time is here at last,
When each yeoman will be cast aside before us,
And if there be a need
Sure my kids will sing, "Godspeed!"
With a verse or two of Steven Behan's chorus.