When I was helping to organise the inaugural conference of E tū earlier this year, we knew we wanted to make Helen Kelly the first life member of our new union. But what song to sing for her? She had very decided opinions about some classic union songs; there was a lot of careful consultation to be done, without letting her in on the surprise.
We settled on “Bread and Roses”, which I have to admit isn’t my favourite – I’m a metal girl, I like something you can bang your head to.
This one didn’t make the shortlist. It probably felt a little on the nose. But Helen had a great sense of humour; I think she would have appreciated the black comedy.
Here’s to her, and here’s to the union.