A Nation Once Again

From Academic Kids

"A Nation Once Again" is a song, written sometime in the 1840s by Thomas Osbourne Davis (1814-1845). Davis was a founder of an Irish Catholic movement whose aim was the independence of Ireland.

The song is a prime example of the "Irish rebel music" sub-genre (though it does not celebrate fallen Irish freedom fighters by name, or cast aspersions on the English occupiers as so many rebel songs do). The song's narrator dreams of a time when Ireland will be, as the title suggests, a free land, with "our fetters rent in twain." The lyrics exhort, albeit with less vitriol than some rebel songs, Irishmen to stand up and fight for their land: "And righteous men must make our land a nation once again."

It has been recorded by many Irish singers and groups, notably John McCormack, The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners, The Wolfe Tones in 1964, (a group with clearly Republican leanings), and The Irish Tenors (John McDermott, Ronan Tynan, and Anthony Kearns).

In 2002, "A Nation Once Again" was voted the world's most popular tune according to a BBC World Service global poll of listeners, beating out such favorites as "Vande Mataram" and "Dil Dil Pakistan." Neither The Beatles nor Bob Marley made the cut, though Cher was #8 with "Believe."

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