As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham Jail
I think about these past few weeks, oh will they say we've failed?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye
Now I know it's hard for you my love to ever understand
The love I bare for these brave men, the love for my dear land
But when Pádraic called me to his side down in the GPO
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go
Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too
On this May morn as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you
And I'll write some words upon the wall so everyone will know
I loved so much that I could see his blood upon the rose.
Now, I realize this is supposed to be touching, and that I'm probably supposed to swoon while I think something like, "Oh, isn't this so sad, he loves her so very much, but must leave her for a higher calling from which he will never return." A lot of Celtic music, which I enjoy a great deal, is written on the theme of the couple tragically parted when the man marches off to kill the English. (I don't truly know if that is what this song is about, but I can make a reasonable assumption based on the fact that the song is Irish).
Well. I can be as sappy as the next girl from time to time, but please. How many songs do there need to be in which a man avidly declares his love in one breath, and in the next announces that he loves his country/his honor/his friend Padraic more? There is always something the 'hero' loves more, that keeps him from sticking around and being reliable for this woman he's tied down with his declarations and promises and rings. How is that romantic? Having actual obligations and deciding to stick it out even though you can't be in the same place is one thing. "I love you....but now I'm going to demonstrate the higher value that I have for adventure and impressing my friends by ditching you, and hope that you find it manly and honorable" is another.
No, I'm not feeling cynical or bitter today, why do you ask?
I am pondering a song declaring a long list of things that I love more than any person, which I will somehow make out to be a love song - except that it won't work, because somehow it's not so romantic when it's a woman who is more committed to her work, friends, country, whatever. Bah. Until that song gets written, listen to this: