Scottish rock legend Rod Stewart took time out of his schedule to visit the grave of Grace Gifford, the wife of one of the Easter Rising leader Joseph Plunkett.
The Maggie May rocker was in Dublin to record a special for Ryan Tubridy’s ‘Late Late Show’.
While in the capital, he took the trip to Glasnevin Cemetery which is the final resting place for some of Ireland’s best-known sons and daughters. One of the gravestones was that of Grace Gifford
The Dublin South 1916 Committee posted the image on Facebook and said: “Rod Stewart standing at the grave of Grace Gifford-Plunkett today in Glasnevin Cemetery. He has recorded a version of the Irish love song ‘Grace’ which tells the story of Grace marrying 1916 leader Joseph Plunkett the night before his execution.”
Gifford married Easter Rising leader Joseph Plunkett hours before he was executed for his role in the Easter Rising.
Stewart famously recorded the song ‘Grace’ – which had originally been written by Sean and Frank O’Meara using a love letter from Plunkett to Gifford – for his album ‘Blood Red Roses’.
It is a song that means a great deal to him and resonates particularly strongly after he took a visit to Kilmainham Gaol, where the couple were married and Plunkett was killed.
He told Billboard: “I visited the jail and went into the chapel where it all happened. So it means a lot to me, that one, it really does. There was no furniture in the jail apart from the bed of jail, no table, no bed, no chair, nothing.
“Just sat on the floor, and the glass that was there when I visited wasn’t there in those days, so the wind and the snow came straight into the cell.”
“Man’s inhumanity to man never stops to astonish me.”
Stewart once revealed that he had been banned from singing ‘Grace’ on the BBC because of ‘anti English connotations’.
He said: “They won’t let me sing “Grace” because of its Irish, anti-English overtones in the song. Forget about it, it’s one of the greatest love songs ever written. The guy goes to his death 15 minutes the next morning after he’s been married, and I can’t sing that one either.”
Take a look at the video of Rod Stewart performing Grace below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling