Celtic Vibes

You haven’t been to Ireland, if you haven’t been to an Irish pub listening to a band playing traditional Irish music. Back in early 2000, when on a cycling adventure around the Irish south coast, passing through a field of celtic burial mounds just before reaching Cork, I had the perfect preparation to the experience of having dinner in an Irish pub. While surrounded by friendly merry people playing folk songs, I still had fresh in my mind the image of the deep green fields where chiefens and warriors had laid for more than 2000 years. While struggling to reach the beer under the rich foam of a Guiness, my eyes wandered around a number of bodhrans with the celtic geometric designs cheering up the rustic walls. Somewhere between them, written in fancy writing, there was an old Irish blessing:

” Like the gold of the sun,
like the light of the day,
may the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way.
Like the glow of a star,
and the lilt of a song
may these be your joys all your life long.”

Poetry and music is intrisic to any culture, but this feels stronger in place such as Ireland. Even the speech in which the band leader mixed Gaelic and English to announce the next song, had cadence and rhythm. At the sound of “The Bold Thady Quill”, without being sure of the words, I joined the crowd in an improvised choir:

“..Thady was famous in many other places/ At the athletic meeting held out in Cloghroe/ He won the long jump withough throwing off his braces/ Goin’ fifty=four feet every sweep he woultd throw..”

Irish music was one of the genres of World Music most sold in the 1990’s together with chant records. It was also strong during the 60’s American folk revival and influenced artists such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baes and Mammas & Pappas.

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