The Sash My Father Wore (traditional)

The Sash My Father Wore, sometimes known as The Sash, is a traditional Loyalist folk song. Its music dates back to the 19th century, though the lyrics have been adapted and several versions exist.

The Sash My Father Wore refers to several Protestant victories in Ireland, including the Jacobite siege of Derry (1689), William of Orange’s victory at the Boyne (1690) and the Battle of Aughrim (1691). The title refers to the orange sash worn by Protestants when commemorating these victories, as well as the singer’s determination to wear it “on the 12th [of July]”.

The Sash My Father Wore is popular during Orange Order marches, where it is sung or performed by marching bands. It has also become popular with British nationalists in Scotland.

[Chorus] It is old but it is beautiful and its colours they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne
My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore
So on the 12th I proudly wear the sash my father wore.

Here I am a loyal Orangeman, just came across the sea
For singing and for dancing, I hope that I’ll please thee
I can sing and dance with any man, as I did in days of yore
And on the 12th I long to wear the sash my father wore.

It’s now I’m going to leave you, good luck to you I say
And when I’m on the ocean, for me I hope you’ll pray
I’m going to my native land, to a place they call Dromore
Where on the 12th I’ll always wear the sash my father wore.

[Older verses]So I am an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin’s isle I came
To see my British brethren, all of honour and of fame
And to tell them of my forefathers, who fought in days of yore
That I might have the right to wear the sash my father wore.

For those brave men who crossed the Boyne have not fought or died in vain
Our unity, religion, laws and freedom to maintain
If the call should come we’ll follow the drum and cross that river once more
That tomorrow’s Ulstermen may wear the sash my father wore.