My Father’s “Cóta Mór”

By Patrick Tunney

Old Moore’s Almanac
One moonlight night as the moon shone bright o’er the woodlands on Mayo,
All sounds were stilled as my young heart thrilled with a gleam of freedom’s glow.
To the side of a rill, at the foot of the hill, my daddy brought me o’er,
Saying “Now, my chap, come and fill a gap, and put on my “Cóta Mór.”
“Some trusted men, are to meet in The Glen, with years I’m growing old,
So for Banba’s race you must take your place within the one true fold.
By night and day you must sway in the fray, like Róisín’s clans of yore,
With your hands to the plough come and vow, right now, and put on my “Cóta Mór.”
My head I bared, my young heart flared, my solemn word I gave,
That to alien foes, to Might and throes, I’d never live a slave.
That I’d disown the Saxon throne from the depths of my inmost core,
Then with rapt delight, that moonlight night I put on the “Cóta Mór.”
Oh, the scene by the rill I remember still, when I think of boyhood’s days,
For freedom’s light was then peeping bright o’er Hibernia’s flowery braes.
As a care-free lad, sure my heart throbbed glad singing Paddies Evermore,
‘Til the Saxon Huns with Tans and guns laid siege on the “Cóta Mór.”
Toils and years, and smiles and tears have come and gone since then,
For Treaties and Pacts and traitorous acts have allured ambitious men.
Vile, pompish Kings vain, earthly things and Crowns have toppled o’er.
Still Rosaleen is true to the sheen and the hue of my father’s “Cóta Mór.”
The vow I took, I never broke and please God I never will,
Whilst one vein beats true to Róisín Dhu or to “Rory of the Hill.”
I hope I’ll see loved Banba free, from the Foyle to the winding Nore,
And a million men on parade in the glen, where I donned my father’s “Cóta Mór.”