Home heritage Videos: “No Surrender” – the Relief of Londonderry, 300 years ago today

Videos: “No Surrender” – the Relief of Londonderry, 300 years ago today


“Derry’s Walls” also known as “No Surrender” is a song about the longest siege in British history. It lasted almost 8 months when 13 Apprentice Boys closed Bishops gate one of the 4 gates into the walled city in the face of King James’s Catholic army.The cry from the walls was NO SURRENDER and the siege officially started.

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During the siege an estimate of 5,000 of the city’s 10,000 population died of starvation alone.The siege was lifted this day in 1689 (allowing for the calendar change which ‘stole’ eleven days of the enraged people of Britain in 1752) after ships broke the boom that James had fixed across the river Foyle, relieving the heroic citizens.

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Derry’s Walls

The time has scarce gone by boys
Two hundred years ago
When Rebels on old Derry’s Walls
Their faces dare not show
When James and all his rebel band
Came up to Bishops Gate
With heart and hand and sword and shield
We caused them to retreat.


Then fight and don’t surrender
But come when duty calls
With heart and hand and sword and shield
We’ll guard old Derry’s Walls.

The blood it did flow in crimson streams
Through many a winter’s night
They knew the Lord was on their side
To help them in the fight
They only stood upon the walls
Determined for to fight,
To fight and gain the victory
And hoist the Crimson high;


At last, at last with one broadside
Kind heavens sent their aid
The boom that crossed Foyle was broke
And James he was dismayed
The Banner, boys that floated
Was run aloft with joy
God bless the hands that broke the boom
And saved the apprentice Boys

  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License
  • Music

    • “Derry’s Walls” by Houl Yer Whisht

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