Chapter 1 considers music’s contribution to the radical Republican Fenian movement. It introduces fundamental themes that run throughout the book: the importance of communal renditions, the ability of political actors to reappropriate songs, and the symbolic value of nationalist anthems such as ‘God Save Ireland’. Whilst stressing the importance of these functions, it also draws attention to the limitations of music. It did not undo the incarceration of signing prisoners, and certainly did little if anything to prevent the failure of the Fenian uprising. One of the central themes that it sets out-and develops in subsequent chapters-is that Irish nationalist musical cultures operated in a cultural environment that drew on cultures from across the British Isles and indeed further afield.