Volunteers' March (The)

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VOLUNTEERS' MARCH, THE. Irish. A favorite march tune of the Irish Volunteers (1774-1784) composed by Elford and dedicated to Lord Charlemont. It was extremely popular in Ireland at the time and as a symbol of social unrest it featured in the July 9, 1784, "Douglas" riot in Dublin. On that night the Duke of Rutland attended a performance of Home's play Douglas. At the rising of the curtain the audience demanded the orchestra play "The Volunteers' March,” and, sensing the tenor of the crowd, this was done. Upon attempting to present the play after that the crowd became more restive, angered by the (English) Viceroy's refusal to enact reforms petitioned by the Dublin Corporation, and refused to let the play go on. Instead "The Volunteers' March" was played until the Duke was obliged to leave (Grattan Flood, 1906).

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Printed sources:

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See also listing at:
The Ballad Index [1]




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