Rod Stewart had claimed BBC stopped him singing 'Anti-English' Irish ballad, Grace

Rod Stewart had claimed BBC stopped him singing 'Anti-English' Irish ballad, Grace

ROD STEWART had claimed that the BBC stopped him from singing Irish ballad Grace because of it’s ‘anti-English overtones’.
3 years ago Today (2018)

The BBC however denied that Rod Stewart was banned from singing Grace, the Irish ballad, because of supposed “anti-English overtones” in the lyrics, according to The Times report

The song tells the story of Grace Gifford’s marriage to Joseph Plunkett in Kilmainham Gaol just hours before he was executed for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising.

The song is popular with fans of Celtic, the team supported by the London-born singer.

Rod Stewart and his son Aiden at a Celtic home game against Rangers in 2017 (Image: Getty)

However Stewart had reportedly said the Beeb refused to let him sing the ballad during a recent live acoustic set – a claim disputed by the broadcaster.

'Love song'

“Also they won’t let me sing Grace because of its Irish, anti-English overtones in the song,” he told Billboard.

“Forget about it, it’s one of the greatest love songs ever written.

“The guy goes to his death 15 minutes the next morning after he’s been married and I can’t sing that one either.”

Stewart performing in New York City in August (Image: Getty)

However a spokesperson for the BBC dismissed the claim.

“This story is categorically untrue,” they said.

“No songs are banned on the BBC. We do not ban songs on the BBC.

“All songs performed live on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show are agreed with the artist.”

Stewart did get to sing a few lines of the song during an interview with Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast on Thursday morning.

Stewart told Billboard he first heard the song – written in 1985 by Frank and Sean O’Meara – three years ago when Celtic fans were singing it.

Inspired, he visited Kilmainham Gaol.

Coronas singer Danny O'Reilly leads haunting cover of Grace

“I visited the jail and went into the chapel where it all happened,” he told Billboard.

“So it means a lot to me, that one, it really does.

“There was no furniture in the jail apart from the bed of jail, no table, no bed, no chair, nothing.

Grace Gifford

“Just sat on the floor, and the glass that was there when I visited wasn’t there in those days, so the wind and the snow came straight into the cell.

“Man’s inhumanity to man never stops to astonish me.”

Stewart’s version of Grace is included on his 30th studio album, Blood Red Roses, which was released last month.

The singer since then played to a packed stadium in Pairc Ui Chaoimh Cork on May 25, 2019, where the performance of this ballad Grace was truly spectacular .  Stewart has even laid flowers at the graveside of Grace Gifford.

** Originally Published on: Oct 4, 2018