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On Passing Cromwell Street

In Melbourne streets named in his honour though he does not warrant such fame
For he lived a life of dishonour yet he never felt any shame
For his crimes against the poor of Ireland the winners write the history they say
And historians are too kind to Cromwell the one who did awful things in his day.

He evicted the poor of rural Ireland those who only knew of poverty
And put them on the hard road to Connacht the victims of crimes against humanity
His army were thugs and not soldiers for they did things that soldiers ought not do
The winners always write the history though their version of history is often not true.

In Cromwell's time the winners wrote the history and the winners still write the history today
But for any crimes against humanity the winners too should be made to pay
But Cromwell and his army honoured for their crimes in Ireland against the poor defenceless poor
'Tis sad to think that one so unworthy of a place in history is secure.

To hell or to Connacht his catch cry he forced thousands of poor families on the road
To people who were penniless and innocent not one scrap of mercy he showed
Thousands of them died in the harsh Irish Winter when homelessness on them took it's toll
Because they were poor they were punished though their life circumstances beyond their control.

I think of the untruths of history each time I drive by Cromwell street
The history written by winners their history of lies and deceit
I say to myself they honour a tyrant and I struggle for to understand
Why they name a street after somebody who oppressed the poor of Ireland.

Andrew Marvell in verse glorified Cromwell but he was one who would not know
What Cromwell and his army got up to in Ireland in those bleak times centuries ago
But he only believed what they told him and they told him what he wanted to hear
History often written by unworthy people those who rule by terror and fear.

In Melbourne streets named in his honour his poor victims long forgotten and gone
Into the World of the forgotten but Cromwell's fame is living on
And the lessons we should have learned from history did not lead to a fair go for all
And the winners only write the story though the real truth they never recall.

by Francis Duggan

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