A song to inspire a Pride of Lions

pride of lions song Brian Burke british and irish lions John Devine
10 June 2017; British and Irish Lions players, from left, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Alun Wyn Jones, Owen Farrell and Ben Te’o face the Crusaders haka prior to the match between Crusaders and the British & Irish Lions at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

If this doesn’t get you in the mood ahead of the British and Irish Lions Test series against the all-conquering All Blacks then nothing will.

Brian Burke and renowned piper John Devine, the duo behind last year’s Close your eyes and pull like a dog – a celebration of the O’Donovan brothers triumph at the Rio Olympic – have teamed up once again to give us the inspiring Pride of Lions.

The song is a rallying call ahead of the Test series, which gets underway on 24 June in Auckland, and an ode to the proud 129-year history of the British and Irish Lions.

The song incorporates the four national anthems of Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, as well as the truly inspiring words of former Lions captain and great Willie John McBride. The video is a montage of clips from Lions tours of the past.

Brian, who is president of Letchworth Rugby Club, was inspired to take up his pen to write in praise of that unique institution, the British and Irish Lions, which tours only once every four years to either New Zealand, Australia or South Africa.

McBride toured with the Lions five times and played in every Test of the 1971 series, which remains the only Lions side to win a series in New Zealand.

“It was Willie John’s passionate speech that caused me to put pen to paper and the melody soon flowed from that,” said Brian.

pride of lions song Brian Burke british and irish lions John Devine
Brian Burke performing with his band Gor Jus Wrex

“I contacted John and we stitched the four rugby anthems into the song with Willie John’s narration between verses.

“A talented young man called Dave Winter put a video behind it which really brings it all to life. We hope both rugby followers and anyone with a love of sport will enjoy it.

“We also hope it will give the players a boost if they get to hear it knowing we are all behind them back home in all four nations, especially following recent tragedies that have occurred in London and Manchester.”

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