Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains

Dave Lordan/Christy Moore


I believe in them so they do exist.

Way up in the Wicklow Mountains tis easier to hide than you think

Back in behind them waterfalls

Deep down in sunless crevices

In rhodedendroned foliage

On slopes of fluttering shadow and scree.

Nothing speaks of this tribe apart from these words.

They could be waifs running free from the lead mines

They could be orphans out of ballads and poems

They could be rebels who outran the redcoats

They could be ravers, they could be Wiccans

Who squat above in high ruins

Cavorting at thousand-day hooleys

Beneath great roofless halls

Turning to foxes at midnight

They plough through the motorway snow

To scavenge suburban dustbins

Down around Newtownmountkennedy

Down around Newtownmountkennedy

This Tribe has no patterns

Fits no description

Nothing about it translates

Apart from its existence

No reasons no thesis no customs no goals

The Tribe is my credo … that’s all

Strong is my faith, strong is my Beat

Strong is my magic, strong is my Want

And wanting I will rise, up alongside them

Spinning into the mist, ne’er to be seen again

High above Mullaghacleevaune


Some of our boys

To the hills they have gone away

More of them have been shot

And some are far out at sea


Michael Dwyer of the mountain

Has plenty of cause for his spleen

For the loss of his own

Loyal comrades who died on the green




In April 2013, we joined a great throng in Avondale, Co. Wicklow. “Save Our Forests” was a collective who sought, successfully, to prevent the proposed sell off of our national forests. In that beautiful vale, the Cork Poet, Dave Lordan, read this piece. Since then I have been trying to perform it. After three years of foostering, I felt it was time to sing or get off the pot … shine on Dave Lordan. The hanging baskets are still in bloom and there’s more than puddings in Clonakilty!