The Sash My Father Wore

Ulster Orangeman
Orangeman, Ulster Covenant Commemoration Parade, Chichester Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, September 2012.

Ardfern/Wikimedia Commons

"The Sash My Father Wore" is a Northern Irish and Ulster Scots folksong, much beloved in Belfast and the surrounding region. Because of its political content, which mentions various glories of the Orangemen (a Northern Irish loyalist fraternal organization), it's not necessarily an appropriate one to pull out in any ol' pub session—it's not beloved among Irish Catholics, to be sure. "The Sash My Father Wore" dates back to at least the 1870s, though it may be older, and the original author is unknown.

"The Sash My Father Wore" Lyrics

Sure I'm an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin's Isle I came
To see my Glasgow brethren all of honor and of fame
And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore
All on the twelfth day of July in The Sash My Father Wore.

It is old but it is beautiful, and its colors they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne. From my orange and purple forefather, it descended with galore
It's a terror to them Papish boys, The Sash My Father Wore.

So here I am in Glasgow town, youze boys and girls to see
And I hope that in good Orange style you will welcome me
A true blue blade that's just arrived from that dear Ulster shore
All on the twelfth day of July in The Sash My Father Wore.


And when I'm going to leave yeeze all, "Good Luck," to youze I'll say
And as I cross the raging sea, my Orange flute I'll play
Returning to my native town, to old Belfast once more
To be welcomed back by Orangemen in The Sash My Father Wore.


Notable Recorded Versions

Joe Ulm and Pub Group - The Sash My Father Wore