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Joe Coburn "The Boxer".

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A report from the New York Times 7th March 1877.

THE COWARDLY ENGLISHMAN

You gallant sons of Grania, pay attention for a while,
I'm sure these verses I have here will cause you soon to smile,
Concerning this great battle we've expected to take place,
But the Englishman was cowardly and did not show his face.

Chorus
So toast to worthy Coburn, his praise we will sing,
He did defy the ENGLISHMAN as he approached the ring.

On the 4th day of October our Champion took his way,
With courage bold I will unfold his valour to display,
He gave three cheers for Ireland and the little Shamrock Green,
The English cried we are ashamed, Jem Mace cannot be seen.

The Englishmen bet five to one that Mace would gain the day,
But indeed they were mistaken for poor Jem he ran away,
Our champion boldly stood the ring without either dread or fear,
But he was disappointed Jem Mace did not appear.

There were many of our cousins got ready on that day,
And followed gallant Coburn in hopes to see some play
With gold and silver plenty both in pocket and in purse,
Jem Mace for his great cowardise [sic] got many a heavy curse.

My age is nine-and-twenty and my weight eleven stone,
I'm five feet eleven and a half in height and Irish every bone,
I never met a bully yet or fifteen stone or more,
Was ever fit to conquer me all on Columbia's shore.

Jem Mace leave off your boasting you have no more to say,
The day that you were wanted like a coward you ran away,
Indeed it is a pity you should wear the English belt,
For when you came to Ireland, you got shy to show your pelt.

Our champion in great courage with his seconds faced the ring,
But Mace the cowardly bully to his fight they could not bring,
I'm sure he thought of Cooper, when his jaw was broke in two,
For Granua's sons were never beat in all that they went through.

Let Englishmen no longer boast nor Paddy's sons degrade,
For now they must surrender to our galland Irish blade,
With honour now they wear the belt the English may deplore,
The day they challenged Coburn from Erin's shamrock shore.

Now to conclude and finish I mean to say no more,
But here's to every Irishman that loves the shamrock shore,
Three cheers for brave Joe Coburn he's a son of Granuale,
To fame the English bullys that his courage may not fail.




COBURN'S CHALLENGE TO HEENAN


You gallant sons of Paddy's land I hope you will draw near
Its of an Irish Champion brave I mean to let you hear,
His name it is Joe Coburn from Erin's fertile shore
He has now challenged Heenan for 10,000 and more.

My friends and fellow countrymen the truth I'll tell to you
To fight an Irishman like myself is a thing I don't wish to do!
But as he denied his country and sold the fight to King,
I must have satisfaction when we go into the ring.

Heenan my boy get ready and do not flinch from me
I'll show you the way that Cooper fell by Daniel Donnelly
Money will not buy me for gold I do not care
I'll fight in defence of Paddy's land and the laurel that I wear.

I came across the seas before for to fight Jemmy Mace,
But the cowardly dog he was afraid an Irishman to face,
I fought the bull Hellard and made him for to rue
My copper-coloured gentleman I'll do the same to you.

My name it is Joe Coburn, I belong to Armagh town,
I never feared an Englishman, a blackman or a brown
Its true I have fought their best and beat him manfully
I never was bribed by money for to sell my country.

I was trained by that Irish hero they call John Morrissey
Who always fought and conquered for his native country,
He always took old Erin's part to them he ne'er proved untrue
But you dirty dog you have done so for which I'll make you rue.

You deceived your fellow countrymen that bet their gold
And like all other traitors the battle you have sold,
I'll swear by him that made me when we go into the ring
I'll make you think upon the day you sold the fight to King.

Now to conclude and make an end and my pen I will lay down,
Prosperity attend brave Coburn a native of Armagh town
That victory may crown him upon the fighting day,
And soon may the traitor Heenan to his treachery fall a prey.

Both songs obtained from James N. Healy's, The Mercier Book of Old Irish Street Ballads, vol.3, "The People at Play"

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