Saturday, 21 August 2010

Do Not Go Gentle

Do Not Go Gentle 
John Connolly

Introduction: Do Not Go Gentle is an original musical composition dedicated to all those who drown. It is specifically dedicated to the deceased crew of Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 and to all refugees who drown in the Mediterranean. The song was commissioned by the Lifesaving Foundation and composed by Dr. Martin O’Leary, University of Maynooth. The song was first performed in Malta on 24th March 2017 by the combined choirs of Lucan Gospel Choir (Ireland) and Joy Gospel Singers (Malta). A recorded version by Lucan Gospel Choir is available on You Tube here. The Lifesaving Foundation has offered free use of the song to all lifesaving organisations worldwide. Rescue 116: Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 crashed into Blackrock Island in the early hours of the morning on 14th March 2017. The crew were unaware of the island’s existence in front of the lighthouse. All four crewmembers died in the event. Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit has published a Preliminary Report. Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service: “Naval Service personnel are very experienced in search and rescue but they never have encountered anything on the scale in the Mediterranean. The work carried out by our personnel in the Mediterranean is both a source of pride and humility. It is very much in the naval tradition of coming to the aid of those in peril on the sea. The actions of our personnel is very much in line with the ethos and values that we hold in the Naval Service – courage, respect, integrity, loyalty and above all selflessness. They display the innate decency of Irish people in general and the fundamental respect we have for others. This is in complete contrast to the smugglers and traffickers who feed off the desperation of people who are fleeing oppressive regimes. Our effort in the Mediterranean is best summed up by one of our ships captains; “As members of the Naval Service we simply see a hand reaching up to us out of the sea; we grab that hand and we hold on to it with all our might and drag someone to safety.” Do not go Gentle. We voyage through the years, Savoring the view, And when the shadows come, Help each other through. Our hearts grow heavy, When we think of those we lose, But love stays strong, And love is what we choose. Do not go gentle whatever life may bring, Do not go gentle and we will always sing, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. We voyage through the storms, Coming close to harm, And gather those we love, Within a sheltering arm. And time moves slowly, We lose some on the way, But in our hearts, They live on every day. Do not go gentle whatever life may bring, Do not go gentle and we will always sing, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Do not go gentle but go safe.

Citation: Connolly, J. (2017). Do Not Go Gentle. In: Avramidis, S. (Ed.). Conference on Near-Death Experiences while Drowning (p. 20). Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA: International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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