We Sang Gaelic Songs on Coffin Ships

We sang gaelic songs on coffin ships
Bound for Liverpool - a distant land
Our sadness contained
In a fast losing language
We sang in defiance of our history
The evictions, the starvations.
They called us lazy
But we were the dreamers of dreams
Ag caoineadh* we sang tribal songs
Laments and lullaby’s
Then exhausted we slept
Restored to our sovereignty.

*ag caoineadh = gaelic for keening (mourning the dead)

By Maire Malone