Owens's Garden (an Irish drinking song)

The Regimental Song "Garryowen" came informally into the Army between 1861 and 1866 as a quickstep, but its use was first documented by the 7th U.S. Cavalry Band about the time the song became the regimental air. George Armstrong Custer did not, himself, bring the song to the regiment. Instead, Captain Myles Keogh who had ties to the Fifth Royal Irish Lancers of the British Army is believed to be instrumental in bringing the air to the regiment.

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Original Lyrics 7th Cavalry Lyrics
The most accurate origin of the song "Garryowen" is from a small Irish town outside of Limerick, where the 5th Royal Irish Lancers made their home. The town's name, Garryowen, means "Owen's Garden"; but the old tune soon came to become associated with the Lancers' drinking. The Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote the words around 1807: In 1905, Chief Musician J.O. Brockenshire of the Seventh Cavalry Band rewrote the music to "Garryowen" and composed these stanzas and chorus before the regiment deployed to the Philippines:
Lyric 1:
Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed
We'll break windows, we'll break doors,
But join with me each jovial blade;
The watch knock down by threes and fours;
Come booze and sing, and lend your aid,
Then let the doctors work their cures,
To help me with the chorus.
And tinker up our bruises.

Instead of spa we'll drink down ale,
We'll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
And pay the reck'ning on the nail;
We'll make the mayors and sheriffs run;
No man for debt shall go to jail
And are the boys no man dares run,
From Garryowen in glory.
If he regards a whole skin.

Lyric 2:
We are boys that take delight in
Smashing the Limerick lights when lighting,
Our hearts so stout have got us fame,
Through the streets like Sporters fighting,
For soon 'tis known from when we came;
And tearing all before us.
Where're we go they dread the name
Of Garryowen in glory.


Lyric 1:
We are the pride of the army,
And a regiment of great renown,
Our name's on the pages of history,
From sixty-six on down.
If you think we stop or falter
While in the fray we're gin'
Just watch the steps with our heads erect,
While our band plays "Garryowen."

In the Fighting Seventh's the place for me
It's the cream of all the cavalry;
No other regiment ever can claim
Its pride, honor, glory and undying fame.

Lyric 2:
We know no fear when stern duty
Calls us far away from home,
Our country's flag shall safely o'er us wave,
No matter where we roam.
'Tis the gallant Seventh Cavalry
It matters not where we're goin'
Such you'll surely say as we march away;
And our band plays, "Garryowen."


Lyric 3:
Then hurrah for our brave commanders!
Who lead us into the fight.
We'll do or die in our country's cause,
And battle for the right.
And when the war is o'er,
And to our home we're goin'
Just watch the step, with our heads erect,
When our band plays, "Garryowen."


"Sergeant Flynn"

Another song, of unknown origin, but associated with the 7th Cavalry is "Sergeant Flynn." By the verses in the original version, the song was written after the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Thanks go to Ed Grens, an Infantry Officer from the 1950s, for contributing the second set of lyrics and his rendition of the tune. Mr. Grens stipulates that the phrase "drive the sabers to the hilt might indicate an origin after the introduction of the Model 1914 Cavalry Saber, when the manual was changed to stress thrusting, rather than slashing, with the saber."

Lyric 1:
All through the night the Sioux keep singing, Sgt. Flynn,
I can hear their tom-toms ringing Sgt. Flynn,
Oh I hear their tom-toms ringing,

And I hear the Sioux bucks singing
But they know not yet the tune of Garryowen.

Garryowen, Garryowen, Garryowen,
In this valley of Montana all alone,
There are better days to be for the Seventh Cavalry
When we charge again for dear old Garryowen

Lyric 2:
There's the forward we're advancing, Sgt. Flynn,
In the breeze of guidons dancing, Sgt. Flynn,
Trot- ho (yell); Gallop- ho (yell); Charge (yell)
We will drive the cutthroats under,
Drive the sabre to the hilt for Garryowen.


Lyric 3:
Ten thousand braves are riding, Sgt. Flynn,
In the Black Hills they are riding, Sgt. Flynn,
Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull,
They will get their bellies full.
Of lead and steel from men of Garryowen.


Lyric 4:
We'll dismount and fight the heather, Sgt. Flynn,
While they're still a trooper breathing, Sgt. Flynn,
In the face of sure disaster,
Keep those carbines firing faster,
Let those volleys ring for dear old Garryowen.


Lyric 5:
We are ambushed and surrounded, Sgt. Flynn,
But recall has not yet sounded, Sgt. Flynn,
Tell your men stand fast and rally,
Make your last stand in this valley,
For the Seventh Cavalry and Garryowen.


Lyric 6 (Slowly):
Oh your bones to dust will crumble, Sgt. Flynn,
In the years out drums will rumble, Sgt. Flynn,
In the annals of the brave,
Comes a whisper from the grave,
On the breeze we're singing dear old Garryowen.


Lyric 1:
Do you hear the bugles blowing, Sgt. Flynn?
Do you hear the Sioux-buck crowing, Sgt. Flynn?
Do you hear the bugles blowing,
Do you hear the sioux-buck crowing,
But he doesn't know the tale of Garry Owen.

Garry Owen, Garry Owen, Garry Owen,
In a valley in Montana all alone,
There are better days to be for the US Cavalry
As we ride against the foe for Garry Owen.

Lyric 2:
Here they come like screaming banshees, Sgt. Flynn,
Sioux and Blackfoot and Commanches, Sgt. Flynn,
Let their blood run red and gory,
Write another page for glory,
Drive the sabers to the hilt for Garry Owen.


Lyric 3:
All the men are dead or scattered, Sgt. Flynn,
They are bruised and scalped and battered, Sgt. Flynn,
I'll make up your bed tomorrow,
And stand oer your grave in sorrow,
As they play again the taps for Garry Owen.


Fiddler's Green