Junior Chills – Dublin 1916 (original)
Due to the historical significance of 2016, I wanted to write a song about the events of the Easter Rising in 1916. I have studied Irish History and British History for many, many years and tried to incorporate as much of this as possible into the song. I have written the song from four different people’s perspectives during the Easter Rising of 1916. One of these people is a reflection of someone who fought and died during the Rising, the rest are figments of my imagination.
If you can, try and listen to the lyrics and not so much the singing.
The first verse is from the perspective of a volunteer who is fighting within the GPO in Dublin during The Rising. As the place is burning down around him he remembers the words of Padraig Pearse at the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa, at which he was present:
“the fools, the fools, the fools! – they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”
This seems to strengthen his resolve to fight for the freedom of Ireland.
The second verse is from the perspective of an older volunteer who is thinking about the British Empire and, specifically, what took place in India. I wanted to link the significance of Britain’s Empire to the Easter Rising as a lot of the military tactics which were used by the British during the Rising were perfected throughout their various wars during their empirical days. The verse ends with the beginning of World War One and the view that because Britain’s attention was focused on Germany, this was the perfect opportunity to strike and fight for Ireland’s freedom.
The final verse begins from the perspective of James Connolly, who was within the inner circle of those who organised the Easter Rising and was commandant of the Dublin Brigade during Easter 1916. The leaders of the Rising were executed for their roles but Connolly’s execution was probably the most poignant as he had been injured during the events, was tied to a chair in the courtyard and executed by a firing squad while seated.
The verse continues from the perspective of someone who fought and survived the Easter Rising. He / She reflects on the significance of the events of Easter Week and how Ireland’s freedom is “not a question of if, but when”.
The Easter Rising was a defining moment in modern Irish History and I think that, especially as it is a centenary year, people should take a few minutes to read about the events of 1916. It is something which has been told to me on numerous occasions and one which rings true…Ireland may only be a small island but it has a massive history!!