This song I found after I read about a young Catholic boy, Theodorus Schrama, from Hillegom, Holland, who went to Rome in 1867 to defend the Church against Garibaldi. He became a Papal Zouave and died a few months later at the age of eighteen.
When Pope Pius IX called for help from his followers all over the world, many also came from Ireland and their regiment was led by Major O’Reilley.
There’s a reference in the song to the Battle of Fontenoy. I suppose that refers to the famous Wild Geese, the soldiers who had to leave Ireland After Aughrim‘s great disaster and joined “The sons of France”.
Songs are great history tellers, although, like this one, often too heroic and romantic.
The lyrics I found in the National Library of Scotland. I hope I sing the melody as it should.