Flashback Friday: The Legend of Garryowen, 1680’s Irish Quick-step

THE LEGEND OF GARRYOWEN – History Article. Introduction Excerpt…

  • “Garryowen” is an old Irish quick-step that can now be traced back to the early 1680’s. In 1867, Garryowen was adopted by the 7th Cavalry Regiment as the official Air (tune) of the Regiment, and the historical nickname given to the 7th Cavalry Regiment and troopers. It became the Official tune of the 1st Cavalry Division in 1981. Garryowen has become undoubtedly the most famous of all the regimental marches in the Army.

Now THAT is a Flashback Friday!!! Follow at Twitter #FlashbackFriday.

I first heard only the melody in movies about General Custer and the 7th Calvary, at which time I didn’t know there were any lyrics at all. I simply thought of it as Custer’s theme and the 7th Calvary March.

It wasn’t until I finally got to see the 1997 TV miniseries Rough Riders that I discovered it has lyrics.

A trivia note about that – the lady singing it in Rough Riders is Elan Oberon, wife of John Milius – Director of Rough Riders.


Also, co-written by John Milius.


It is about future President Theodore Roosevelt and the regiment known as the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry; aka the Rough Riders. The series prominently shows the bravery of the volunteers at the Battle of San Juan Hill, part of the Spanish–American War of 1898. It was released on DVD in 2006. The series originally aired on TNT with a four-hour running time, including commercials, over two consecutive nights during July 1997.

It is repeated this Friday 25 November 2016 on cable TV…

Rough Riders

7:00 PM CT on GetTV 216, 2 hr 15 min 1997 TV-14
  • Energetic, inexperienced Theodore Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) helps form a regiment of volunteers to fight in the Spanish-American War. Part 1 of two. Sam Elliott, Gary Busey. Nash: Brad Johnson. Edith Roosevelt: Illeana Douglas. McKinley: Brian Keith. Wadsworth: Chris Noth. Hearst: George Hamilton. John Milius directed.
9:15 PM CT on GetTV 216, 2 hr 15 min 1997
  • Conclusion. When fever incapacitates Gen. Wheeler, Wood takes charge of the brigade, placing Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) in command of the volunteers for the assault on San Juan Hill. Sam Elliott, Brad Johnson. Marshall: William Katt. Wadsworth: Chris Noth. Leonard Wood: Dale Dye. Stephen Crane: Adam Storke. Hearst: George Hamilton.

Lyrics – Irish Version…

[Verse 1]

Let Bacchus’s sons be not dismayed,
but join with me each jovial blade,
come booze and sing and lend your aid,
to help me with the chorus:

Instead of spa we’ll drink down ale
and pay the reckoning on the nail,
for debt no man shall go to jail
from Garry Owen in glory

[Verse 2]

We are the boys who take delight
in smashing Limerick lamps at night,
and through the street like sportsters fight,
tearing all before us (Chorus)

[Verse 3]

We’ll break windows, we’ll break doors,
the watch knock down by threes and fours,
then let the doctors work their cures,
and tinker up our bruises (Chorus)

[Verse 4]

We’ll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
we’ll make the mayor and sheriffs run,
we are the boys no man dare dun,
if he regards a whole skin (Chorus)

[Verse 5]

Our hearts so stout have got us fame,
for soon ’tis known from whence we came,
where’re we go they dread the name,
of Garry Owen in glory (Chorus)

Garryowen – Wikipedia.

It’s so much more enjoyable now!

Posting by Jim Lantern
Friday, 25 November 2016

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Categories: History | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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