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Christy Moore and "La Quinta Brigada"

Christy Moore 2I was listening to Christy Moore singing this ballad among others last evening. It is about Irishmen who fought in the Spanish Civil War against Franco. Moore chooses to focus on the "Irish Socialist Volunteers" who made a small contingent within the 15th International Brigade.

I am particularly interested in this song because in his list of Irish Volunteers he mentions "a Christian Brother from Derry":

Éamonn McGrotty, the best known of the Derry volunteers and remembered as the ‘brave young Christian Brother’ in Christy Moore’s song Viva la Quinta Brigada; born in 1911, into a republican family, lived at Marlborough Road and later in 4 Mount St, Rosemount; in the Christian Brothers between 1925 and 1932; moved to Dublin with his family when his father died in 1932; lived in 9 Upper Drumcondra Road, Dublin; active in Conradh na Gaeilge, Na Fianna, and the IRA; worked as a journalist; arrived in Spain on 22 December 1936; was adjutant of the Irish company (the James Connolly centuria), Lincoln battalion when he was killed in action during the assault on the Pingarron Heights in the Battle of Jarama on 27 February 1937. 

If not blocked on copyright grounds you can listen to the song on You Tube.


First heard that song when I bought Christy's album 'Ride on' way back in the mid '80s. Was it really ¼ century ago? Meep.

And there is Christy still sweating away.
that's been a favorite song of mine for years.
And obviously of many others to judge by the way he is accompanied so enthusiastically by the crowds who know the words of this and all his songs.
It's a grand song is that although the one that comes down my family is 'Bella ciao' which was sung by the Italian Brigade (there were Italians on both sides which is pretty embarrassing).
There were Irish on both sides too, although the Bishops were with Franco.
Not to mention O'Duffy's blueshirts.