If you go to Dublin, you must go see Kilmainham Jail; it is an incredibly moving place
|lyrics by Melissa L. Tatum & Robbie O’Connell|
|arranged by Robbie O’Connell|
|recorded by Robbie O’Connell|
|vocals Robbie O’Connell|
|bouzouki Aaron Jones|
|wooden flute Claire Mann|
|recorded at Cavern Studios, Tucson, AZ|
|recording engineer Bill Cashman|
Here’s a preview sample of the song.
An acclaimed singer and songwriter, Robbie O’Connell was born in Waterford, Ireland and grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, where his parents had a small hotel. He began to play guitar and sing at age thirteen and soon became a regular performer at the hotel’s weekly folk concerts. In addition to his solo career, Robbie has performed and recorded with the Clancy Brothers, Mick Moloney, Jimmy Keane, Eileen Ivers, Seamus Egan, as well as with his cousins Aoife and Donal Clancy.
He is accompanied by Aaron Jones and Claire Mann. Aaron is a member of the Scottish group Old Blind Dogs, and we met him several years ago when the Dogs were in Oklahoma. We didn’t get to know him very well until 2009, when he and Claire came through Arizona with 2Duos (now known as Litha), a group that plays folk songs from a variety of traditions. I love their music and their song choices and they are among my all time favorite performers to watch live in concert. They were also among the first people I approached about helping out with this CD. I knew they were fabulous musicians, but watching them behind the scenes in the studio brought home just how amazingly talented they are. Aaron is brilliant at developing accompaniment, and my jaw hit the floor when I heard Claire in the studio. For those of you familiar with Irish flute, all I need to say is Claire played a D flute in the key of B. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Irish flute, I can’t even begin to describe how much talent that takes… let’s just say that Irish flutes are not meant to do that….
As you walk the prison yard, and the dusty cells and halls
the ghosts they clamor softly, hear their voices in the walls
from the hungry volunteer to the leaders in command
their lives all tell the story of our heroes and our land
CHORUS:Won’t you listen to the stones sing the song of Kilmainham
they tell of triumphs won and grieve the struggles lost
O can’t you hear their tale? O can’t you feel their presence?
Our heroes may be gone, but their spirits linger on
In Anne Devlin’s lonely cell, you can hear only silence
For she never would reveal the names of her comrades in alliance
Robert Emmett still declaims his defiance of the crown
Though the battle may be lost, he never will bow down
Hear the voice of Padraig Pearse, as he whispers his last prayers
Or Joseph Plunkett sighing, as his love for Grace he swears
In the execution yard, stands a plain wooden cross
to proclaim Irish freedom and remind us of the cost