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Smashing of the van (Manchester version)
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I'll sing to you the praises of the sons of Erin's isle.
It's of those gallant heroes who voluntarily ran
To release two Irish Fenians from an English prison van.

On the 18th of September boys, 'twas a dreadful year,
When sorrow and excitement ran throughout all Lancashire,
At a gathering of the Irish boys they volunteered each man
To release those Irish prisoners out of the prison van.

Kelly and Deasy were there names, I supppose you knew them well.
Remanded for a week they were in Belle Vue jail to dwell.
When taking of the prisoners back their trial for to stand,
To make a safe deliverance they conveyed them in a van.

William Deasy was a man of good and noted fame,
Likewise Michael Larkin we'll never forget his name.
With young Allen and O'Brien they took a part so grand
In that glorious liberation and the smashing of the van.

In Manchester one morning those heroes did agree,
Their leaders Kelly and Deasy should have their liberty.
They drank a health to Ireland and soon made up the plan -
To meet the prisoners on the road and take and smash the van.

With courage bold those heroes went and soon the van did stall
They cleared the guards from back and front and then smashed in the tall.
But in blowing open of the lock they chanced to kill a man,
So three men must die on the scaffold high for smashing of the van
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