An emotional Rod Stewart was momentarily lost for words when he came face to face with the brothers who wrote one of his favourite Irish songs – Grace.
The rocker was appearing as a guest on the Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy during St Patrick’s Day weekend in 2019.
While he was in Ireland he went to Glasnevin Cemetery where he visited the grave of Grace Gifford, widow of one of the Easter Rising leaders Joseph Plunkett.
Plunkett and Gifford married in jail, just minutes before Plunkett was executed for his role in the Rising.
The song ‘Grace’ was written about them by brothers Sean and Frank O’Meara in 1985. Stewart recorded the song for his 2018 album Blood Red Roses.
As he sat on the late Late Show sofa, Tubridy had a special surprise in store for him.
The host had already moved Stewart to tears with a thoughtful gift of a first edition book of poetry by Joseph Plunkett, but he wasn’t done yet.
He said: “I’m going to introduce you to two people. Their names are Sean and Frank O’Meara, they wrote the song Grace.”
The Scottish rocker became quite emotional in his excitement as he said: “Oh my God, are you kidding?”
He then went into the audience and gave the brothers a big hug and turned them towards the audience, so they could receive a standing ovation.
Tubridy then told the O’Mearas: “Gentlemen, you’re so welcome to the programme. Thank you from those of us who’ve enjoyed that song for giving it to us as a nation. It’s a very welcome addition to the national cannon.”
Sean O’Meara then said: “The last ten or fifteen minutes have been overwhelming for us. That somebody of the stature of Rod Stewart would sing our song is beyond comprehension.”
Stewart and the brothers then spoke about how the song came to be written and the parts which Stewart found particularly moving.
It was a wonderful moment of mutual respect between songwriters – all thanks to the fantastic song Grace.
Take a look at the video below.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling