t's the story of the San Patricios, also known as the St. Patrick's Battalion, Irish immigrants who defected the U.S. Army and fought on the side of the Mexicans during the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848.
They were led by Capt. John Riley of Galway, who didn't want to fight against fellow Catholics and didn't like the Protestants in the U.S Army. He formed a battalion of about 200 Irish men to fight with the Mexicans and against the United States.
Now sadly, many of the San Patricios were captured by the U.S. Army, and later some were executed.
They are celebrated every year in Mexico on St. Patrick's Day and also on Sept. 12, the anniversary of the executions.
We are the San Patricios, a brave and gallant band
There'll be no white flag flying within this green command
We are the San Patricios, we have but one demand,
To see the Yankees safely home across the Rio Grande...
We've disappeared from history like footprints in the sand
But our song is in the tumbleweeds and our love is in this land
But if in the desert moonlight you see a ghostly band
We are the men who died for freedom across the Rio Grande.