Ah the lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer are upon us. So of course I wish to put an Irish bent on Irish things to do. The best Irish things to do of course.
Irish things to do:
Find a festival.
If you happen to be traveling to Ireland there are a myriad of festivals, from plowing competitions, to potato festivals, to art festivals, feises and fleadhs. Find the one you like the best. Some are small and intimate and some are large extravaganzas like the Galway Arts festival, but small or large there is fun to be had.
If you are staying near home don’t fear as their are plenty of Irish fairs that take advantage of the summer weather. The fairs are nice but they do take a time commitment and sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little more laid back…so…..
Find some Irish music.
There is always some Irish music playing near you, sometimes you are lucky and a day of Irish music will come to town, like the CelticfestMilton which is playing June 26 2016 in Milton, ma.
My favorite Irish music opportunity is to find a good session. Now good session means different things to different people, but nothing screams contentment like great old Irish tunes being played well by great musicians. If you are in the Boston area checkout these venues for a good Irish session:
The Burren Somerville
The Druid Cambridge
The Brendan Behan Jamaica Plain
and for good singing acts Mr. Dooleys Boston has plenty of Boston’s best.
Now if you are looking for maybe the best of Irish things to do and maybe you don’t want to travel you might consider your own Irish music festival.
My favorite music selections and libations for my personal Irish festival
Once you have a nice base of trad it’s time for the Irish music legend Luke Kelly, I like Luke Kelly’s greatest hits but you can’t go wrong with anything from the legend who was Luke Kelly.
Then you have other choices to steer your Irish festival, these are your Irish things so what direction you go in is up to you. Maybe, Women of Irish music, Mary Black, Frances Black, Delores Keane. Maybe a bit new wave with Luka Bloom or Lunasa. Maybe a little rockier with the Cranberries or the Corrs, or full on rock with Rory Gallagher or Thin Lizzy. Then there are always the Chieftains, Van Morrison, Paddy Reilly, or the Undertones.
Once you have your music selections you going to need some food and libation.
There is a great book A course called Ireland about traveling Ireland and golfing where the author describes a meal served to his group in an upscale hotel,
“each table was brought the same sides to share along with carrots and greens came a generous helping of au gratin potatoes, a banquet sized bowl of boiled potatoes,and a baked potato for each of us.” I knew I’ld been in Ireland too long when three sides of potatoes didn’t strike me as funny, but in the face of so much starch, the guy next to us stopped the waitress and asked her to please bring him a bowl of french fries. It was almost enough to make me reach for the carrots, but I didn’t.”
So pick you favorite starch cooked your favorite way, maybe for the summer a good potato salad is appropriate, and a bowl of crisps as well, go full on Irish and get the new large sized bag of Taytos brand crisps.
Now my old friend Alfie, who is dearly missed, would throw a bit ofgoat on the grill,but, it’s your party so pick your main meal as you like, these days you can get Irish sausages and rashes from any good grocer. Since I’m an American of Irish descent, I’ll add the American stables of Steak tips and chicken tenderloins, hot sausage, and grilled veggies.
Now what to wash it all down with?
White lemonade, sure,
Club soda? sure, but I’ll have a lemon club, though most like the orange.
Lucozade? not really my cup of tea.
Tea? always appropriate, my choice is Barrys Gold.
Then of Course you could have a nice pint of stout.
Then again a nice cold ale might hit the spot, in moderation of course.
I’ll confess to enjoying a good Pepsi with my grill feast, not very Irish, that seems to come later, a few good stouts or ales, always enjoyable.
After a Guinness or Smithwicks or Magners, or Beamish, maybe a wee taste of a good Irish cream. The king is Baileys but the best may be Coole Swan give her a try.
So when you’re looking for nice Irish things give these a try or suggest your own.
Hi again, this wee post is for those Irish that can be a bit confused by the different things the world considers Irish. For Irish means different things to different people.
What do you mean you’re Irish.
I was helping out at an Irish festival over the weekend, when I checked in to the volunteers center for my credentials, an office full of women originally from Ireland asked me “So were are you from” I told them from Hyde Park, they all laughed. Not the kind of belittling laugh you get for being a fool, but the kind of laugh that says ” Oh my God this man isn’t trying to be something he’s not”. For Festivals are full of people who are Irish, but Irish means different things to different people.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the fellas that think they are Irish, They think they are Irish with all their hearts, but in truth they are descendants of Irish. Descendants of Irish whose parents never let that island west of Britain out of their hearts. Parents who kept alive the songs and stories and food and drink and laughter and knowledge of a tyrannical government, and it’s power to destroy lives. Their Prodigy and the sons and daughters of their prodigy make up these festivals, and much of the Town I love so well, as well. For full disclosure I lie among them, generation upon generation, upon generation, upon generation removed from those who first stepped upon America’s shores. I only ask a few things of those who would be Irish.
If you are in your homeland, be it America, Australia, England, Canada, etc. It’s ok to say you are Irish. It’s what delineates us from other peoples who have different backgrounds, but in the end we are of our country, of Irish descent of course.
If you are lucky enough to travel to Ireland, know you are in a sovereign country full of Irish citizens and you are from another country. You are a descendent. The funny thing is the less you push your Irishness on your Irish brethren, the more they will tell you “Sure your Irish”. Hey go figure.
Know that Irish means different things to different people. I have met people around me who believe they are Irish. They believe it in their souls. Though I think they are full of shells, they really enjoy it so, what harm will it cause me to look the other way. For to them Irish is a dream, it lets them escape to places they will hopefully, someday visit.
Then there is the green beer and funny leprechaun crowd, enough said. Though a leprechaun can cause havoc if you rub him the wrong way.
The best are the Irish who know how to play good Irish music. Yes this festival was full of good Irish music. There were the Wolfetones celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Proclamation, Brilliant as always.
There was John McDermott from Danny Boy fame who was as clear and crisp as any of his CD’s.
There were East coast favorites like DEVRI the self proclaimed Irish country band, belting out Irish standards and a few Haggard tunes as well. Thank you Declan and Stevie and the boys.
A good time was had by all, and this humble writer of this humble blog did his best to park cars as Mr. Pat Walsh instructed me to do so. I may have veered off of my instructions from said Pat Walsh a little, for I didn’t want to tell the patrons of the festival to get their feckin cars out of the entrance, but I did my best, as well as an American of Irish descent could do you know/
While the current occupant of the White House decides to visit Japan this Memorial day Season I wish to apologize to all World War II Vets still alive as they were the ones who had to fight the Imperial Japanese
I suppose we are to forget “The Day that will live in infamy”, the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
I suppose we are to forget the Bataan Death March
I suppose we are to forget Nanking
I suppose we are to forget how Japan handled civilians, from The Smithsonian.com website http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/?no-ist
“They shot any man, woman, child, cow, hog, or just about anything that moved, They raped any woman from the ages of 10 – 65, and before burning the town they thoroughly looted it.”
He continued, writing in his unpublished memoir, “None of the humans shot were buried either, but were left to lay on the ground to rot, along with the hogs and cows.”
The Japanese marched into the walled city of Nancheng at dawn on the morning of June 11, beginning a reign of terror so horrendous that missionaries would later dub it “the Rape of Nancheng.” Soldiers rounded up 800 women and herded them into a storehouse outside the east gate. “For one month the Japanese remained in Nancheng, roaming the rubble-filled streets in loin clothes much of the time, drunk a good part of the time and always on the lookout for women,” wrote the Reverend Frederick McGuire. “The women and children who did not escape from Nancheng will long remember the Japanese—the women and girls because they were raped time after time by Japan’s imperial troops and are now ravaged by venereal disease, the children because they mourn their fathers who were slain in cold blood for the sake of the ‘new order’ in East Asia.”
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/#F6ouqF1TJ2mUlbj7.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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So on this Memorial Day I wish to Honor those that serve
I wish to honor those that served
I wish to honor those that served and died
I wish to honor those that served and survived
I do not wish to apologize to japan
I do not wish to take blame for japan’s Imperial appetite that woke The Sleeping Giant
I do not wish to apologize for the attacks on Japan
I do wish to apologize for my current president and lack of sympathy for American Veterans.
As every aging man and no doubt a fair amount of women dream about owning a fictional pub there are only two things holding you back. One is the hard work long hours and capital to get the Irish pub concept going. The other….. to name your Irish pub.
So this micro post will show a few examples of unusual Irish pub names and a few names your Irish pub could be.
Name you Irish pub, but don’t replicate these existing Irish pub names.
Durty Nellies, Clare
The dew drop inn, Kildare and Galway
The long haul, Dublin
The dying cow, Wicklow
The wander inn, Kerry
Stoop your head, Dublin
The squealing pig, Monaghan
Now these are all great names but as I sit and think, what goes into naming your own Irish pub? They may have a bit too much character for this old coot.
So, Name your Irish pub, after a family name?
When I think of it, some of my favorite Irish pub names follow this route
It seems around Boston more pubs are opening up with two names like
Maybe they think they add some realism, hopefully their name is really Hugh or Waxy(no way).
Then you could name your Irish pub after an Irish Icon.
I think this is more popular in foreign countries than Ireland
If you wanted to be a bit authentic you could spell your Irish pub name in Irish.
Then their are the pubs I’ve just enjoyed and would like to pay homage to.
The Harbour bar, Bray
The Shanachie bar, Kinsale
Johnny Foxes, Dublin Wicklow border
Annie Kelleys, Tullamore
Joe lee’s, Tullamore
O’Donoghues, Stephens Green Dublin
So after I’ve put together these examples of fine Irish pub names, I guess I would name my Irish pub…
O’Shea’s harbor bar overlooking Stephens green, with Flutes and Fiddles, pints and pinters, saints and sinners, near the Dunloe gap across the Dingle bay, stuck away in a cozy snug and a gale wind, facing the cold Atlantic full of The fish of knowledge, warmed by a good lamb stew, by the footsteps of Finn McCool, James Connolly, and a merry plough boy, a plough and stars, and an enchanted way Pub
I usually write about seeing the less seen parts of Ireland, traveling the back roads and small towns, but in this post I think it’s time to give the iconic tourist destinations their just do. Yes this post will be dedicated to the Ireland tourist sites that really should be seen at least once. In many ways this list will give you an excuse to go back to Ireland and check another tourist venue off your list.
The Ireland tourist sites Bucket list.
The first on my list is the Cliffs of Moher.
The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking, jetting out along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the West of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher provide a spectacular view of the rocky west coast of Ireland, from the Aran Islands and Galway Bay to the Blasket Islands and the Dingle Peninsula. There are some things to remember before you check out the Cliffs of Moher .
Go on a clear day. This sounds easy but depending on a day in Ireland that will be clear is a crap shoot. It’s best to find out the days weather then book your trip.
Take a bus tour to the Cliffs. I know, I know, I’m always going on about checking out things along the way and maybe staying in an unexpected village, but you really can’t beat a short bus ride and not having to figure out parking and tickets and such. The times I’ve headed out to the Cliffs I’ve caught the bus from Galway City and they would drive through the Burren (another iconic Irish site) which included a tour of the completely dark underground caverns. Needless to say, you are a tourist for the day enjoying Ireland’s top tourist attractions, so go with the flow.
If you can go in a less traveled time of the year. The high travel times bring, you guessed it, more travelers. Sometimes the majestic beauty of the Cliffs can be lessened when you feel like a side of beef slowly moving through lines. In the old days the Cliffs were there. People could go right over the edge, I’m sure some did. Today there is a visitors center and limits to access to the really breathtaking-scarier parts of the venue, even less when there are hoards of people all wanting a view. So if you can go early right at 9:00 am or later in the day after 5:00 pm or better yet at sunset which could be very late indeed 8:00 to 9:00 pm.
If you happen to be staying in Doolin take advantage of the Pat Sweeney Cliff walk, Don’t know how long it will take to be too crowded to be enjoyed but it looks fantastic.
The Irish Castle.
What you’ve never seen an Irish castle?
Although each Irish castle is unique, the feeling of walking through the hallways of ancient kings is common throughout most if not all ancient Irish fortitudes.
Kissing the Blarney stone is only the most well known part of Blarney Castle. Explore the history, visit the gardens, heck go full out tourist and attend a medieval feast.
Of course there are scores of other Irish Castles from the top to bottom of Ireland. I have only seen a few, Bunratty Castle in Cork, the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary, all have a story, all have a history, all leave you with that feeling of remembrance of a different time and a different life.
The Irish Cabaret.
You will find yourself in a touristy destination, could be Dublin, could be Killarney, when there will be an Irish musical production or show being marketed your way. These can be a lot of fun if being entertained is what you are after. I attended a wedding and part of the week long celebration was a show at Johnny Foxes in Wicklow. It had Irish folk singers, Irish step dancers, a fellow spinning a yarn or two, very choreographed, very professional, and a lot of fun to boot. Just know that these productions are just that productions and they do their best to insure the tourists have as much “Irish” entertainment as possible. It’s kind of like watching a wild west show in Montana or Nevada it has a lot of hat but not a lot of cowboy.
The Ring of Kerry.
The Ring of Kerry is really a drive along the Great Atlantic Way through The Great County of Kerry. The drive is a winding, breathtaking, bedazzling, scenic, death defying, bus dodging, must do, if you happen to be on the great western coast of Ireland. Yes I highly recommend this.
Found this video on youtube from “underwater Ireland” it is the best representation of the Ring of Kerry I’ve found as words simply don’t do it justice.
Well there are my top four Ireland tourist sites that are must sees. Frankly there are hundreds more Ireland tourist sites to be explored, but since I’m a bit lazy I was hoping you might make some suggestions.
Sometimes thoughts come over me and I must ask for your indulgence, for today was a rainy day indeed and my thoughts just went to rambling. As with all my little wanders off from informative posts about Irish music or travel tips, if you have a line or two of your ramblings put them in the comments and share them with this small piece of the world.
” The rain upon the thistle”
Today it rained and rained again in a not so subtle way,
It rained hard and soft and teasingly light as I went upon my way,
Some would utter unclean thoughts, about the moisture that persists.
Some would curse and raise a hand or swing wildly with clenched fists.
But the rain it fell so steadfastly so, with a rythym and a rhyme.
It pelted rhythmically upon my cap, were it to stop would be a crime.
A tune of the rain ran wildly now through this sopping brain of mine,
A tune that made my steps step lively, on and through the grime.
A jig, a reel, a hornpipe too raced from thought to thought,
And though the puddles deepened, these tunes they would not stop.
A concert played inside my head, of merry tunes indeed.
The music filled me mightily, all thoughts did supersede
And though this pelting rain was the father of my thought.
In order to write this tune down I need a dryer little spot,
And so upon the road I see a pleasant little place.
A pleasant little place to pen a tune, with determined haste.
Haste is needed now as this warming little place,
Has stopped the rythym of the rain and seeks it to be replaced,
Replaced by warming thoughts, of hot drinks and warming fires,
Of cozy pubs, and friendly chats, and all ones earthly desires.
Luckily a nice cool pint keeps the tune in place.
I pen the reel with that certain feel that cannot be replaced.
And as I sit so satisfied I grab my own tin whistle,
And play the tune that I was given, by the rain upon the thistle.
Yes you can sing the best Irish song, you can sing it well, and you won’t get thrown out of your house, pub, or county.
There are those out there that say “I have have no voice, talent, and I am tone deaf” “I’m not singing”. Well I say rubbish.
There are two secrets to singing the best Irish song of the night, and instead of beating around the bush, here’s secret number one.
#1 Secret to singing the best Irish song……………….. Drum roll please,
Choose the right song.
This sounds simple but it is where most people fail. If you have very little range to your voice you need to find a song that doesn’t make you force the notes, that lets you exist in a comfort range.
This comfort range allows you to sing freely, effortlessly, and confidently.
Now what do I mean by range?
Every person, no matter how poor a voice they think they have, can make a least one pleasing sound, they can hold at least one nice sounding note. This note may be high, it maybe low, or it might be smack dab in the middle, but trust me it is there.
The choice of song that has a decent amount of high or low or middle tones which ever suits your range is what we are after.
I have a hard time with high notes, so I started out with songs that you can sing lowly, for I am a lowly singer. There will be, and are, notes in songs I sing that do not fit my range. This is where you adjust the song to fit your range, instead of reaching higher for the note I’ll drop down for a similar effect.
When you pick out that first song from your list of best Irish songs you will already know you can sing bits and pieces of it, pick out the one you can reach most bits and most pieces.
These are some songs that I find easier to sing,
The water is wide
Down by the glen side
Hills of Connemara
I Know, I know, what good is being able to not totally hack a part of a song? Well the thing is once you have a song that you can partially sing. You practice on shaping the parts you can’t quite handle yet. You listen to the cd or mp3 and sing the first verse, when you hit the part you have trouble with, you change it a bit till you find a path you can walk or sing through.
We are not going for a full on Adelle, we are going for an enjoyable acceptedness.
Do not underestimate the importance of knowing the lyric fully in aiding your singing of the song. Full fledged confidence can be undermined by a faulty memory.
Now if you think I’m full of hooey, think about the Happy birthday song.
The first part is easy for all,(happy birthday to you). The second part no big problem,(happy birthday to you). The big finish exposes a lot,(haaapppy biiirthhday dear singer) if you amended the last part to be more similar to the earlier two. You would have sung a less diverse but more successful song.
These are songs I can sing but need to adjust because of my range.
Whiskey on a Sunday
Cliffs of Doneen
There is a part of Danny Boy that you truly need to have a top range to sing as written–
It’s I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
People always expect you to mess this up, especially when like myself you are just an average singer, but I practiced this part enough that I can drop down an octave and push a pleasing tone confidently and quickly get to tell Danny boy how much I love him so.
#2 Secret to singing the best Irish song……………….. Drum roll please,
Love the song and don’t care what anybody else thinks, or in a word—-
Now there is a not so fine line between someone who loves to sing their favorite song and some drama queen hack Irish Folk singer wanna be, but that being said, nothing trumps talent like passion.
I use this example a lot but it was a life changing event.
My wife and I are in the Shanachie Pub in Kinsale, County Cork some 25 years ago. We are there in late October and have had a nice time talking with the different folks when we are told a local singer just showed up and we were in for a treat. Well this fellow was good, a professional, and very enjoyable, but it was what happened after he finished which was so life changing.
This old woman shuffles up to the microphone and starts singing a local tune. She had the worst voice I have ever heard, the first few words made me think it was a joke. Her voice had the resonance of wild cats being swung by their tails as their claws were being scratched across a chalkboard. She didn’t care. She sang her song. She projected, confidently, proudly singing her song. She sang this song about her town that she loved and that love of singing came through. By the time she finished, every person was standing up and gave her a standing ovation. It was a beautiful performance.
I learned on that day that if you have a song you love, let her go, confidently, and proudly. The world is full of people who like to criticize everyone and everything. Ignore them, because there are just as many people who really like seeing people enjoy singing a song they love.
Those are the 2 secrets to singing your best Irish song and I’ll just add a few pet peeves that you should consider and be prepared for.
Singing Pet Peeves.
You don’t Know the words
Either sing or don’t, don’t need to be begged to sing
Sing in the appropriate venue. Don’t force your way into a trad session.
Don’t monopolize a singing session
To many stanzas of unknown endless songs
I’ll be looking forward to hearing the good the bad and the ugly, it’s all for fun, and I hope all Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day,
Talk about putting a little pressure on myself, but over the years I’ve learned a bit about celebrating St. Patricks Day.
We’ll break it down to the different waysto celebrate Saint Paddy’s in Boston, In Ireland, or in your own house.
If you want to get into the ultimate mood for the high season you better find some good Irish music. This can be harder than you think as many musical yahoos become Irish for the day.
Find out where the regular Irish sessions are held and find out where these musicians are playing in and around your area. In Boston you can find great sessions at The Druid in Cambridge, the Burren in Somerville, the Behan in Jamaica Plain.
Irish Folk music on the other hand consists of songs, Irish songs, old Irish songs are even better. Beware, this is where you will find the Irish for a day singers.
You usually need to depend on the reputation of the venue to hear good Irish Folk singers. The Irish pubs that stay true to their Irish roots during the year are the same who hire good authentic Irish Folk singers.
A really good take if you live near a major city is to head into town in the early afternoon, before things get too crowded and crazy. Most places will start music around 12:00 or 1:00, this lets you hear the singer or band, you run into less amateur mirth makers, and you can enjoy a pint or two, enjoy the music, then head home for a good CB&C dinner.
Get your iPod, pandora, or if your an old coot like me get out your favorite CDs
The best Irish folk singers to listen to on St Patricks Day.
The Clancy Brothers
The Furey Brothers
I still love to sit down in a quiet spot in the house, after the big St. Patricks Day celebration and dinner have ended, pour a pint of sustenance and listen to Paddy Reilly’s 20 Golden Irish ballads. It’s a great end to the day
You have found a good band to listen to, so the next step is transportation.
If you are heading out in a bigger city like Boston or New York there are the subways that allow you the freedom of staying longer, and maybe striking an additional blow for freedom, without worrying about driving home.
Then there are the newer companies like Lyft and Uber but they can be a little pricey on certain high demand times.
The best is to get dropped off and take the group cab home, really the best way to enjoy your night out. When that good Irish music starts playing it’s easy for the craic to take you just a little too far to be driving.
Next step Find a pub that serves a proper pint.
No green beer please, leave that to the Irish for a day crowd or the local fraternity.
There really is nothing that salutes the day better that a properly poured pint of Sir Arthur’s Finest stout, Guinness.
Steps to a properly poured Guinness.
It has to be an Imperial pint, it can be the modern Guinness gravity glass, if you’re an old dodger like myself the classic tulip glass is the glass ware of choice. The best vessel for pouring the black stuff into must be an imperial pint glass.
Guinness is double poured, and it takes time. If some rookie barkeep pours you a guinness in one straight shot, shake your head in disgust and find another pub.
The double poured pint should take 119 seconds
Guinness should be served cool to cold around 38 degrees in the tap room
The famous cascading bubbles and creamy head which is supplied by the correct gases used in the tap system of Nitrogen and CO2.
You can check out how Guinness says a pour should happen, here.
Now most would be happy, some tight Irish tunes and a righteous pint of plain, but the best way to celebrate St. Patricks Day is to have a gathering.
The House party.
Each year I have a gathering on St. Patricks Day which is the epitome of Irish American celebrations. This little event is centered around that American meal that has become synonymous with St Paddy’s Day—–Corned Beef and Cabbage——–.
Now let it be said that Corned beef and Cabbage is not an Irish meal to celebrate the day in Ireland. It is an American tradition. If you are interested in the origins of the corned beef and cabbage St. Patricks day celebration I wrote an in depth post on it here “Did St. Patrick Like Corned Beef?
There are many newbies to my get together who wince at the thought of corned beef, with childhood memories of salty hunks of rubbery, leathery, chunks of meat served with squishy vegetables, and mounds of boiled potatoes. They are surprised to find how delicious it is when it is prepared in the correct way. They are also surprised with the crispness and variety of the vegetables that accompany this Irish American classic.
If you want to know how to cook the corned beef and cabbage dinner check out another in depth post ” how to cook the corned beef Dinner” It really is a simple dish but it takes time and a specific method.
A few more things that are needed to make the day complete is a few rounds of Irish soda bread, some good Brown bread, and some good Kerrygold Irish butter. There really is nothing better than Irish butter, it is just good.
Now when you have 20 or 30 of your closest friends over for some good food don’t worry about being too fancy. Serve the meal buffet style, just keep that meat coming as it will go fast.
We can have as many as 75 or 80 guests over the course of the evening, by guests I mean, relatives, kids friends, business friends, aunts of friends, and anybody I managed to bump into that week. In order to have everyone on the same page, I do not send out invitations, or e-mail blasts, I simply remain consistent, ………………………..
I celebrate St. Patricks Day on March 17th, show up any time after 5:30.
In the words of my old friend Kevin Smith “when I get a call to not come, I’ll know the party is off.”
My St. Patricks Day Party started off with my wife and two friends struggling over cooking one hunk of corned beef, and has grown to one big house party. I like to sing a song or two and now have plenty of other singers of Irish songs to mellow out the sound. We have one fellow who recites a poem each year, and a few musicians wander in from time to time after their gigs are done. Sometimes they play, sometimes they are all played out, but either way they have their fill of food and a good laugh.
Be prepared to answer the Can I bring anything? Question. The answer is yes.
Bring a salad
Bring an Irish bread
Bring a side dish ( I have an Italian friend who always brings a lasagna)
I supply the main dinner, jokes, laughter, and the opportunity to enjoy yourself, I don’t supply beer, wine or liquor, but much like the loaves and fishes by the end of the night I am asking people to take some of the libation home with them as my refrigerator isn’t that big.
Which brings me to the not so glorious part, clean up. Its best to get some construction grade trash bags and line large trash receptacles. Have them easy to find and don’t worry what people are throwing away, though it’s best to keep an eye on the dog.
Clean up that night. fill the dishwasher with the pint glasses and serving plates.
Wash down the counters and stove with some grease cutting scrub, as the corned beef being dished out will get a bit greasy.
When the counters are washed, the trash bags tied, the left overs refrigerated, the dishwasher is filled and humming away it’s time to find that last pint of Guinness you hid in the vegetable crisper to be cracked and poured. I’s time to lower the lights a bit grab your favorite Balladeer, Listen, and Salute the Land of our Fathers.
This post features Dublin singer songwriter Billy Treacy. There are many trunks that grow from the tree of Irish music, most times I do my best to keep the legends of Irish folk music alive, I do my best to show the wonders of Irish trad, but today the spotlight falls on this modern day Dublin bard, Billy Treacy.
Billy released a nice cd titled “head above water” a cd worth listening to, which is a lot to be said in this age of mediocrity. A singer for Ireland, much like the legends of the past Billy sings about regular people trying their best to make it from day to day.
Billy Treacy is an interesting combination of Dylan like fedupedness, combined with an upbeat musical style, kinda folk, kinda pop, kinda easy and edgy too. A catchy musical style with lyrics that reveal some of the unrest in Ireland today. The latest clip above follows earlier released videos of Woe, and Temple Bar.
In the lyrics of Temple bar Billy pokes fun at the touristy section of Dublin that is Temple bar, a nice tongue in cheek piece of satire that ruffled some feathers in his home town. I say if you can’t have a laugh or two why bother, either way it’s another good song penned by this Dublin singer.
In an interview with the Irish Mirror publication Billy described his music as;
Honest, Heartfelt, Raw and Gutsy.
when asked what artists most influenced his style? He responded as follows
In no particular order it would be Elvis, Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, John Lennon and The Beatles, The Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Shane MacGowan and The Pogues, The Dubliners, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and I didn’t realise till recently but Willie Nelson.
When an artist separates himself from the crowd and still stays true to his own style and vision, that is a rare thing, Billy treacy is such an artist.
Checkout his Bio at BillyTreacy.com and do yourself a favor and download his CD as well.