The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr'd dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.
Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Beneath its folds we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.
Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung,
Chicago swells the surging throng.
It waved above our infant might
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.
It well recalls the triumphs past;
It gives the hope of peace at last:
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.
It suits today the meek and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place,
To cringe before the rich man's frown
And haul the sacred emblem down.
With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall.
Come dungeon dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.
It was written by an Irish immigrant into London in the late 1880's. His name was Jim Connell - born in County Meath in 1852. He died in London in 1929. I don't suppose he would have appreciated the adulation surrounding the establishment of a memorial to him in his homeland for Jim was a "red" till the day he died and eschewed the cult of celebrity that is now endemic in the western world:-