Rising Men Down

from by Kate O'Callaghan

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about

Written by Kate O'Callaghan

"Catherine Rooney was the eldest girl in a large family of 12 children and she grew up in No.17 North Richmond St. Her older brother Paddy joined the Irish Volunteers and she joined the Central Branch of Cumann na mBán, along with her younger sister Alice, in 1915. According to her Witness Statement, on the first day of the Rising, she saw the men marching towards the city centre and her mother told her to get her equipment and follow her brothers. She was supposed to go with her sister Alice to join the rest of the Cumann na mbán at Liberty Hall. Instead, however, determined to join her brothers she followed a troop heading towards O'Connoll St., passed Thomas Clarke's tobacconist shop, towards the GPO. When she got there she asked a man to help her climb up to a window at the side of the building, which she then kicked in and climbed through, landing on some poor unsuspecting volunteer who then proceeded to scold her for being there! Once inside she carried out first aid on the injured men, using her petticoat as a bandage - earning her the title of 'The Petticoat Heroine' which was printed in the press in later years. She describes in detail tending to many of the wounded, including a man called Liam Clarke who carried a home-made hand grenade which exploded as he entered the post office, beside the telephone kiosk. And while helping The O'Rahilly apply a dressing to another wounded volunteer she noted a group of men queuing up for confession from a priest who had taken up position at the back of the main hall.

lyrics

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

credits

from The Girl With The Beret, released October 3, 2016
Kate O'Callaghan (Vocals and Guitar)
Seamus Devenny (Drums, Percussion and Violins)
Tim Jarvis (Cello),
Stephen Mc Daid (Electric Bass)
Declan Mc Clafferty (Guitar and Lap Steel)

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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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