The Girl With The Beret

by Kate O'Callaghan

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about

All songs written by Kate O'Callaghan
Arranged and Produced by Kate O'Callaghan and Seamus Devenny
Recorded and Mixed by Orri McBrearty (Attica Studios, Donegal)
Mastered by Richard Dowling (Wav Studios, Limerick)

Artwork by Kate O'Callaghan
Design by Manna.ie

The Girl With The Beret is a concept mini-album by Irish singer/songwriter Kate O'Callaghan. Inspired by the Witness Statement (Bureau of Military History) of her great-grand aunt, Catherine Rooney (Neé Byrne), who fought in the 1916 Rising in Dublin, Ireland.

credits

released October 3, 2016

Musicians:
Kate O'Callaghan
Seamus Devenny
Tim Jarvis
Martin Smyth
Declan McClafferty
Stephen McDaid
Billy Robinson
Kevin Murphy

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about

Kate O'Callaghan County Donegal, Ireland

Kate O'Callaghan is a singer/songwriter based in Donegal, Ireland. Combining evocative melodies with intelligent considered lyrics, she covers a gamut of styles and emotions from Alt. Folk to Jazzy/Blues, the sublime to the cathartic. Evocative, haunting, poignant and refreshingly uplifting, with a unique aspect that explores the less obvious paths tonally as much as the expected. ... more

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Track Name: The Fight Is On
I turned into O’Connell St. passed Tom Clarke’s shop and heard the sound of marching men.
I fell in behind a company of volunteers and they told me the scrap was starting.
They told me to go home but I kicked in the glass of a side window and jumped in.
A priest had taken up his position at the back of the main hall and the men queued up for confession.
Track Name: Rising Men Down
Mother said go with her, walk with your sister down
Your brother has gone with his gun and the fight is on
Tear up the sheets, get your kit and your uniform on
The boys have gone to be men and the fight is on

They are Rising Men Down
Rising Men Down

Alice, she went with her friend off to Liberty Hall
But I was drawn to the men and their marching call
Past old Tom's, Mr. Clarke nine days later he would fall
To the sound of the firing squad by the prison wall

They are Rising Men Down
Rising Men Down
They are Rising Men Down
Rising Men Down

"Katy go home, we'll tell Paddy on you" they said
But the girl with the hound at her feet was calling ahead
And under the gaze of Hibernia, sad and tall
The boys of 1916 began to fall

As Mercury guided them in through the doors
Bathed and dressed and absolved
In the presence of the Lord
Liam he fell by the phones with the war in his hands
And the boys now men I held in my arms

They are Rising Men Down
Rising Men Down
They are Rising Men Down
Rising Men Down
Track Name: Safe Passage
I crossed the street under fire and it was dark by this time. The Volunteers were told to hold their fire while I was crossing but there were bullets coming from the O’Connell St. area. “Don’t worry” said the Captain, “I’ll signal that you are going across so that you will have a safe passage”. Through byways and alleyways, through houses and across dividing walls. One kind soul made me a cup of tea and I did not half relish it.
Track Name: Lay
Here I come, hold your fire
Here I run, hold your fire
Here I come, don’t shoot me down
Here I run, you offered me safe passage

If I could lay, lay my head down
Lay, lay my head down

Here I come, I am the messenger
I run through streets on fire for you
Through alleyways and barricades
The fear of God is in me but I’ll stay true

If I could lay, lay my head down
Oh lay, lay my head down

Is it the unrelenting drive to meet requests?
Or the kindness of the woman who offers rest?
That makes us more than hand maidens?

If I could lay, lay my head down
Lay, lay my head down
If I could lay, lay my head down
Lay, lay my head down

Here I come, hold your fire
Here I run, hold your fire
Track Name: A Gold Bangle
He wrote the dispatch and I noticed as he was writing that he had a gold bangle on his arm. I said to myself “I wish I had that” and thought it very funny seeing a man wearing a bangle.
I took off my velvet beret and pinned the dispatch inside my thick hair. I pulled the hair up over it, tied it up with a pink ribbon and put on the beret.
Track Name: The Girl With The Beret
Hair wound thick round the note that he wrote
Safe and hidden and bound by a ribbon
Of pink silken courage, a stalwart array
Wrapped in the tale of a velvet beret

Laced with a blessing in Gaelic of old
She took her instruction and did what was told
But she couldn't help notice what hung from his hand
A strange golden bangle the colour of sand

Ooh

What kind of man would wear such a thing
A man of great wealth or maybe a king
Or maybe a lover who wants to remember
The reason he fights for his Grace-full defender

For he was a poet, a scholar of prose
Immersed in a language of one who hopes
Hopes for the tempest that roared up and broke
His mad heart that died when his wild love awoke

Ooh

The girl with the beret knew not of despair
On the day that she carried his note in her hair
To the men on guard at the gates of the courts
Delivered with pride, a message of force

And on her way back through streets under fire
She climbed to the top of a look out tower
And the whistling sound of a bullet did pass
By her head as she watched through the looking glass, the looking glass

Two holes left in the beret that she wore
That carried the note from the man on the floor
With the strange golden bangle the colour of sand
A gift from his lover in turn for his hand

But the joy of the young girl's narrow escape
Was shrouded in sorrow by a cruel twist of fate
As the kindness of mercy that spared her that day
Surrendered the love of the poet who lay

In the grave of his marriage to the woman that he loved
For they wed in the chapel just hours before
The young Joseph Plunkett was shot in the head
And the strange golden bangle was all that was left

And the girl with the beret...
She remembered.
Track Name: The Guards
My mother was always known as the mother of ‘The Guards’. Every member of this Unit could enter our house at any hour and always be sure of a bed for the night and ample food for a hearty meal.

Her name will not be engraved on the walls of Rome or the Ruins of Ancient Greece, but will remain forever in our hearts.
Track Name: Oh Mother
Oh Mother, Oh Mother

What could you do when they called you?
And how can we tell the story from the truth?
But know that your love was greater than it all
Larger than our lives and stronger than the fall

Oh Mother, Oh Mother

We’d follow you to the ends of this earth
Where the souls that you fed now rest
Your name shall not be engraved
On the walls of Rome or the ruins of Greece
But in our hearts, every broken piece

Oh Mother, Oh Mother

We’d follow you
We’d follow you
Track Name: Secrets
17 North Richmond Street became an active centre, honeycombed with secret hideouts, where arms and explosives were stored in readiness. My father had made a dump for arms at the side of the fireplace. The house was subject to day and night raids but in no case did they ever discover the secret.
Track Name: The Walls
If the walls could speak on North Richmond Street
I wonder what they’d say
Would the speak of places hidden deep
Where unknown secrets lay

On borrowed time
Someone’s loss enshrined
In dirt and grime
A dead man’s fate defined

If the walls could speak on North Richmond Street
I wonder what they’d say
Would they whisper of the gatherings
Where frightened faces prayed

On borrowed time
Someone’s loss enshrined
In dirt and grime
A dead man’s fate defined

And all the time they hold
The secrets of the fold
And all the time they hold
The story that she told