This Irish ballad, written in 1985 by Frank and Seán O'Meara, tells the tragic story of Grace Gifford, who married her fiancé, rebel leader Joseph Mary Plunkett, in Dublin's notorious Kilmainham Gaol. Seven hours after their 15-minute wedding ceremony at the gaol's austere chapel, Plunkett was executed by firing squad for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.
The best known version of "Grace" was recorded by Irish musician Jim McCann, which featured in the Irish charts for 36 weeks. A member of the folk group the Dubliners from 1974 until 1979, McCann made several television specials in his native country and achieving success with albums such as From Tara to Here and Grace & Other Irish Love Songs.
Rod Stewart first heard "Grace" being sung by Celtic supporters at the Scottish Cup final and was deeply moved. It fed into his love of the Glasgow football club and he decided to record the song for his Blood Red Roses album.
Stewart accepts that recording the Irish republican ballad might be seen by some as a controversial choice. "If you mean it's an IRA song, it isn't," he told The Independent. "They were the Irish freedom fighters then, but more importantly it's a great love song."