A Man For Every Sleeper
The railway track from Mallow to Killarney through a green old countryside
Where a man for every sleeper in Ireland's famine died
A man for every sleeper that's what the old man said
And tears of loss and sorrow won't wake the famine dead.
In the depths of Ireland's Winter the sun don't often shine
And a man for every sleeper died on that railway line
Young men from North Cork and East Kerry of the hunger and the cold
They are the long forgotten and their stories never told.
They did not live to see their children grow or to be old and gray
And they never even made it through the Winter for to see the blooms of May
And hear the robin singing on the flowering hawthorn tree
Near where the old Blackwater goes murmuring towards the sea.
It's been said for Ireland's famine that the British are to blame
And that Ireland was a better Land before the invaders came
And that when the potato crop had failed they took the Country's grain
But the wrongs and rights don't matter now though the legacy remain
Of Ireland's tragic famine in Ireland's saddest time
When people in their thousands died many yet not in their prime
And thousands died in 'coffin ships' bound for the U.S.A.
The stories of the famine remain with us today.
From Mallow to Killarney through a land of song and lore
Via Banteer and Millstreet and through East Kerry via Rathmore
The railway track stretch onwards through that green old country side
Where a man for every sleeper in Ireland's famine died.