Songs of Freedom event featured in Artvoice

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Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook With Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore

In 1916, Irish revolutionary James Connolly, wounded, was tied to a chair in front of an English firing squad. The firing squad pulled their triggers, ending the life of a man who helped lead a rebellion earlier that year during which approximately 1,250 people stormed some of the most prominent buildings in Dublin. The rebels’ aim was to end British rule in Ireland. The rebellion is now known as the Easter Uprising. The rebels eventually surrendered and those still alive were sentenced to death. Their legacy is due not to their heroic rebellion, but ironically, to the revulsion over the execution of wounded rebels, including Connolly. Following Connolly’s execution, public opinion turned the rebels from scoundrels to heroes, and the British appeased the Irish by releasing the remaining rebels, who went on to rekindle the republican movement that eventually won more independence for Ireland. In the midst of this, Connolly edited the Songs of Freedom, a historical collection of revolutionary songs, which was considered lost for several decades. Now musician Mat Callahan has revived these revolutionary tunes in the form of Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook. He and fellow musician Yvonne Moore are taking the Songs of Freedom on tour in the form of rocking manifestos that celebrate of the life and work of Connolly. Their next stop will be local radical book store, Burning Books on Wednesday (Feb 5).

- cory perla

7pm Burning Books, 420 Connecticut St. (881-0791 / Free (donations accepted)