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(learned from a recording in 1961)

(music to go here)

In County Tyrone, near the town of Dungannon
Where many a ruction myself had a hand in,
Bob Williamson lived, a weaver by trade,
And all of us thought him a stout Orange blade.
    On the 12th of July as around him we'd come,
    Bob would play on the flute with a hand on the drum,
    You may talk of your harp, your piano and lute,
    But they're nothing compared to the old Orange flute.

But Bob, the deceiver, he took us all in,
He married a papish called Bridget McGinn,
Turned papish himself, and forsook the old cause
That gave us all freedom, religion and laws.
    Now the boys of the town made some comment upon it,
    And Bob had to fly to the province of Connaught,
    Took with him his wife and his fixin's to boot,
    And along with the latter, the old Orange flute.

In chapel on Sundays to atone for past deeds
He said paters and douies and counted his beads,
Until one day, at the priest's own desire
He came with his old flute to play in the choir.
    Yes, he came with his flute to play in the mass,
    But the instrument shivered and sighed, Oh, alas!
    And try as he would, though it made a great noise,
    The old flute would play only "The Protestant Boys".

Bob jumped and he started and got all a-flutter,
He threw the old flute in the blest holy water,
He thought that it then would make some other sound,
But he played it again, it played "Croppies, lie down."
    And the more he did finger and whistle and blow,
    To play papish music he found it no go,
    "Kick the Pope", "The Boyne Water" it freely would sound,
    But one papish squeak in it couldn't be found.

At a council of priests that was held the next day
They decided to banish the old flute away,
For they couldn't knock heresy out of its head,
So they bought Bob a new one to play in its stead.
    And the fate of the flute now was truly pathetic,
    It was fastened and burned at the stake as heretic,
    As the flames rose round it they heard a great noise:
    'Twas the old flute still playing "The Protestant Boys".

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)