Grace Gifford married her love Joseph Mary Plunkett, hours before he was executed by firing-squad. Joseph had been sentenced as one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. This is the story of their last moments together, memorialized in a beautiful Irish ballad.
As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham Jail
I think about these past few weeks, oh will they say we’ve failed
From our schooldays 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, the love for my dear land
But when Padhraic called me to his side down in the GPO
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go CHORUS
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 love so much that I could see his blood upon the rose. CHORUS