LISTEN: Michael Flatley releases musical tribute to the 1916 Rising

'The Rising' will be used in the upcoming film of the same name

The Rising, Michael Flatley, musical tribute, 1916 Rising, film, Brian Flanagan

Dancer and artist Michael Flatley

He is known the world over for his footwork on Riverdance, Lord of the Dance and many other shows.

But now Michael Flatley is marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising with a musical tribute.

He has released 'The Rising', written and composed by Irish songwriter Brian Flanagan.

The piece is described as "an epic and poignant musical tribute to the heroes of 1916".

Musician Finbar Furey accompanies on Uileann pipes and whistles, with Flatley on vocals along with Flanagan.

Flatley himself also plays a traditional 140-year-old wooden flute during the chorus, while his dance steps create a percussion crescendo for the song's finale.

"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", Flatley said.

"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".

He was speaking from the US, where he is currently on world tour with 'Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games'.

Songwriter Brian Flanagan, who has worked with Nadine Coyle, Nathan Carter, Brian Kennedy and Eric Bibb among others, penned the song for Michael Flatley while working with him in Dublin recently.

"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," explains Flanagan.

The song will also be used on the soundtrack to the film, 'The Rising', starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Fiona Shaw, Micheal 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.

'The Rising'
Composition and lyrics by Brian Flanagan
Performed by Michael Flatley

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