I found this musical creation so beautiful that I had to learn more about it and its meaning. I found it as a CD album at Amazon, which I just ordered: The Irish Tenors / McNamara, McDermott, Kearns, Tynan. The following is what I discovered about the song entitled Grace. Give a listen HERE.
“As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham jail,
I think about these past few weeks; Oh, will they say we failed?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty,
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me.
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms, and let this moment linger,
They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die.
With all my love I’ll place this wedding ring upon your finger,
There won’t be time to share our love for we must say goodbye.
Now I know it’s hard for you my love to ever understand,
The love I bear for these brave men, my love for this dear land,
But when Padraic called me to his side down in the G.P.O.
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go.
Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too,
On this May morn, as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you.
And I’ll write some words upon the wall, so everyone will know,
I loved so much that I could see His blood upon the rose.”
Joseph Mary Plunkett was an Irish nationalist, poet and leader and planner of the 1916 Easter rising. It was largely his plan that was followed in 1916, which ended in military disaster. Plunkett was held in Kilmainham Jail and faced court martial. Hours before his excecution by firing squad, at age 28, he was married in the prison chapel on 4 May 1916, to his sweetheart, a Protestant convert to Catholicism, Grace Gifford.
Grace remained loyal to the republican movement while earning a living as a commerical artist. She voted against the treaty which divided Ireland and during the civil war she was imprisoned in Kilmainham jail for three months. She died in 1955.