Fichead Bliadhna/Twenty Years

Freedom of the moor.    Freedom of the hill.
And then to school at the end of summer
Children, five years of age
Without a word of English in their heads.

Here’s your book.    Here’s your pen.
Study hard, That’s what they told me
And you will rise up in the world
You will achieve.

I learnt many things;
The English language
The poetry of England
The music of Germany
The history of Spain
And even that was a misleading history

Then on to further education
Following education, more education
Like puppets, on the end of a string
And I did rise in the world
I found my suit, I found my shirt
I found a place in the eyes of men
Well away from the freedom of the moor

But why did they keep our history from us?
I’ll tell you they are frightened
In case the children of Gaeldom awake
With searching and penetrating questions
Twenty years for the Truth
I had to wait, I had to search
Twenty years of deceit

They denied me knowledge of myself.