The setting of the song took place during the Border Camapign launched by the IRA in the 1950's. The aim of the campaign was to reunify Northern Ireland with The Republic of Ireland.The Patriot Game has been recorded by various artists including, The Dubliners, The Clancey Brothers, The Kingston Trio, The Blubells, Judy Collins, and several others. This version of the song is performed by The Wolfe Tones. It doesn't include all the lyrics with some verses missing and some lyrics slightly altered. The original lyrics have been included below with all the verses.
|Key Signature: B♭ Major||Time Signature: 4/4 time|
|Tempo: 160 bpm (♩)||Song Chords: B♭, E♭, F, F7, Gm|
|Capo: 1st fret - play in the key of A Major||Song Chords with Capo: A, D, E, E7, F#m|
|Written Chords - (B) represents barre chord|
|A: x02220||D: x00232|
|E: 022100||E7: x20100|
|F#m: 244222 (B)||E7 (alt): 022130 OR 020130|
Chords and Lyrics
Please see below for song tips. Capo: 1st fret
The Patriot Game Intro: 3/4 | A | D | A | E | A | D | A | A | D A E A | D | A | 1. Come all you young re-bels___ And list while I sing E A D A F#m | E7 | D | For the love of one's coun-try___ Is a ter-ri-ble thing E A D A F#m | E7 | D | It ban-ish-es fear with___ The speed of a flame A D A E | A | D | A | And it makes us all part of___ The pa-tri-ot game A D A E A | D | A | 2. My name is O'-Han-lon___ And I've just gone six-teen E A D A F#m | E7 | D | My home is in Mon-a-ghan___ Where I was weaned E A D A F#m | E7 | D | I’ve learned all my life___ Cruel En-gland to blame A D A E | A | D | A | And so I'm a part of___ The pa-tri-ot game A D A E A | D | A | 3. 'Tis bare-ly two years since___ I wan-dered a-way E A D A F#m | E7 | D | With the lo-cal bat-ta-lion___ Of the bold I-R-A. E A D A F#m | E7 | D | I read of our her-oes___ And wan-ted the same A D A E A To play up my part in___ The pa-tri-ot game |(game) A | D | A | E | A | D | A | A D A E A | D | A | 4. This is-land of ours has___ For long been half free E A D A F#m | E7 | D | Six count-ies are un-der___ John Bull's tyr-an-ny E A D A F#m | E7 | D | So I gave up my boy-hood___ To drill and to train A D A E | A | D | A | And to play my own part in___ The pa-tri-ot game A D A E A | D | A | 5. And now as I lie here___ My bo-dy all holes E A D A F#m | E7 | D | I think of those trai-tors___ Who bar-gained and sold E A D A F#m | E7 | D | And I wish that my rif-le___ Had giv-en the same A D A E | A | D | A | With those quis-lings who sold out___ The pa-tri-ot game A D A E A | D | A | 6. So come all you young re-bels___ And list while I sing E A D A F#m | E7 | D | For the love of one's coun-try___ Is a ter-ri-ble thing E A D A F#m | E7 | D | It ban-ish-es fear with___ The speed of a flame A D A E | A | D | A | E | A...| And it makes us all part of___ The pa-tri-ot game
Free Download: The Patriot Game chords and lyrics
Free Music Service: For all key transpositions including optional chord charts, highlight & copy the song sheet above and click here.
- Degree of Difficulty: Easy with a capo
- Song Key: B♭ major - 2 flats (B♭, E♭)
- Song Key with capo: A Major - 3 sharps ( F#, C#, G#)
- 3/4 time: This means there are 3 crotchet/quarter-note beats per bar, therefore the count is |1 2 3|, or |1& 2& 3&| etc.
- Tempo: 53 bpm () This sets the metronome or click track to sound on the first beat of each bar,
or 160 bpm () to sound the metronome on every beat of each bar.
- The Wolftones use a capo on the 1st fret, and play in the key of A major which audibly, is still the Key of B♭ Major. A major + 1 semitones (capo on 1st fret)= B♭major.
- A capo was most likely used because the chords are easier to play and cleaner sounding especially for finger-pickers.
- Transposition if you want to play in the original key of B♭Major:
|Capo: Fret 1 (A Major)||A||D||F#m||E||E7|
|Original Key (B♭ Major)||B♭||E♭||Gm||F||F7|
- If you are not playing along with the video, you don't have to use a capo. You can play in any key you want. You just need to make the correct transposition with each chord if you do choose another key.
- With each chord you transpose, you must apply exactly the same changes to each chord, i.e., if you decide to tranpsose from the key of A Major to the key of C Major (an increase of 3 semitones), you need to increase each chord by 3 semitones, therefore A-D-F#m-E-E7 becomes C-F-Am-G-G7.
- Further help with reading song charts on this site.
Come all ye young rebels and list while I sing
Now love of one's land is a terrible thing
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame
And it makes us all part of the patriot game
My name is O'Hanlon, I'm just gone sixteen
My home is in Monaghan, there I was weaned
I was taught all my life cruel England to blame
And so I'm a part of the patriot game
It's barely a year since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold I.R.A.
I had read of our heroes and I wanted the same
To play up my part in the patriot game
They told me how Connolly was shot in a chair
His wounds from the fighting all bleeding and bare
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game
I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
They're lackeys for war - never guardians of peace
But yet at deserters I never let aim
Those cowards who sold out the patriot game
This island of mine has for long been half free
Six counties are under John Bull's monarchy
And yet De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the patriot game
And now as I lie with my body all holes
I think of the traitors who bargained and sold
I'm sorry my rifle has not done the same
For the cowards who sold out the patriot game