Continuing with our Celtic theme for this week, today I would like to share one of my favorite songs, “There Were Roses” by the Irish activist and balladeer Tommy Sands.
The song is a true story based on events in Tommy’s own life. He grew up during a time of civil war in Ireland between Protestants and Catholics. But one of his best friends (Allen Bell) was a Protestant, and another (Sean O’Malley) was a Catholic. The three friends vowed that the conflict would never get in the way of their friendship.
But then one night Allen was murdered. Enraged, the Protestant loyalists went looking for a Catholic to murder in retaliation. They ended up killing Sean, and Tommy was left friendless and devastated.
But in the midst of his grief, he wrote this song. This is the more famous version by Moloney, O’Connell, and Keane. It will break your heart.