He changed the world of Irish dancing with “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance,” has successfully launched a profitable art career and now Michael Flatley has released his first song, “The Rising,” a musical tribute to the Easter Rising.
Flatley provides vocals, plays a traditional 140-year-old wooden flute during the chorus and of course provides percussion at the song’s finale with some fancy footwork. The song was written and composed by Irish songwriter Brian Flanagan. Finbar Furey accompanies on the uileann pipes and whistles.
The Irish dancer turned musician told NewTalk “The story of the Easter Rising, and the bravery of those that lost their lives fighting for a free Irish Republic, has always moved me deeply and inspired me.
"I really wanted to mark this special centenary for Ireland, and I'm especially proud of the poignant and beautiful tribute that we, as artists together, have created."
Flatley is currently in the United States touring with “Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games.” He will perform his last dance with the show on St. Patrick’s Day at Caesar's Colosseum, in Las Vegas. Although he’s officially hanging up his dancing shoes and retiring it seems like he’ll have plenty to occupy his time.
Brian Flanagan, who has worked with Nathan Carter and Brian Kennedy among others, penned the song for Michael Flatley.
He said “This song brings together many Irish art forms, including recitation, traditional music, Irish dance and the lament, to honour the extraordinary sacrifice of the heroes of the 1916 Rising in Ireland and acknowledges that we are only where we are today because of the events of April 1916.”
Flatley’s song will be used on the soundtrack to the film, “The Rising,” starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Fiona Shaw, Michael Neeson and Brendan Coyle due to be released next year.
The single is available for download on iTunes, with all proceeds going to various charities - including Crumlin Hospital and Michael Flatley’s Foundation.
Here’s the lyrics:
Be proud of where we’ve come from
Be proud of where we’ve been
For what would we be proud of now if not for old sixteen
For hope our heroes gave their lives, a dim lit dream defend
To pave the way for peace they prayed a broken nation mend
The red in exile laid to rest when the poet pierced their side
‘No peace there’ll be while we’re unfree’ so swell the turning tide
Once scholars now stood soldiers with the sword to play thy pen
As they followed fearless footsteps, to the tone of martyred men
For her gallant sons and daughters the dawn it soon would come
The bold and brave no more the slave by Easters rising sun
The burden bore an oath they swore as history lay in wait
Proclaiming pride, old freedom cried!
T'was love that sealed their fate
Some whistled as they walked their last with grace behind the main
A beauty born as shots were torn no sacrifice in vain
Respect to you oh fallen friends we're borne of deeds you've done
A hundred years remembered and for hundred’s more to come.