‘Óró Sé Do Bheatha Abhaile’ is set to an air reputed to be that of an ‘Ancient Clan March’. Prior to modern times the best-known lyrics were from the 18th century – in tribute to ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. They expressed the hope that he would lead a French/Spanish assisted liberation of Ireland. However the Irish revolutionary leader, Pádraig Pearse, adapted them to the more nationalistic theme of Granuaile (Grace O’Malley), the 16th century Irish ‘Pirate Queen’, inspiring a native-led uprising. Pearse’s version increased in popularity in the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising and it remains an iconic song in the Irish language.
Audio: Tin Whistle