Catching an irish music sing song in a classic Irish pub is a great way to cap off a night in Ireland. My wife and I were lucky enough to be part of this irish music tradition in a nice pub in the harbor town of Kinsale, County Cork. Kinsale is located on the west coast of Cork, and has a rich history which surrounds its strategic harbor. In present day Kinsale you can find some of the finest restaurants and bistros in Ireland. According to the irish tourism office Kinsale is the gourmet capital of Ireland.
On this particular night, after spending a fantastic relaxed day of strolling around the city, We found ourselves at the Shanakee pub. We entered the pub, ordered at the bar and chatted about the day. The pub was about half filled (as it was in October) and soon we were engaged in some local conversation. It turned out some of the lads had attended University in Boston (our hometown) so we joked about some Boston landmarks and mutual interests. The intent that night was to turn in early, but the conversations were so enjoyable that we were glad to change our plans and stayed out late. Well one of the fellas says that we’re in for a treat, that the pub owner is getting ready to play some music. They told me that there was a fellow with a great voice and we were sure to hear some mighty Irish singing. The fellow had a nice voice, and the Irish music was mighty, but it was not the best performance of Irish music of the night. the best Irish music performance of that night or any other, was sung by an elderly Kinsale woman who had the worst voice I had ever heard. When she first started singing I thought someone had stepped on a cat, or 20 people were writing their names on a blackboard with their fingernails, her voice was awful.
BUT, THE JOY AND PASSION SHE HAD IN SINGING HER SONG MADE YOU LISTEN.
She sang an Irish song with no talent but with extreme love of the Irish music, she had no shame in her lack of talent only love for her connection to the Irish music and her country. On that day I learned what Irish music is all about. It is not being perfect, its about being passionate. When she finished her performance the crowd erupted, a standing ovation, the young lads were proud of how she unashamedly loved and represented their town and country. So if you find yourself in a sing song, try these tips and you too may get a standing ovation. Cheers.
Irish music tips for a singing session;
- Pick a song you love
- Know the words
- Choose a song you can handle
- Don’t let fear of failure prevent you from participating
- Don’t be pushy, wait your turn, be invited
- Know an American song, if you throw in a Johnny Cash tune or country classic you’ll get a good response. The Irish guys love when you sing a tune from your own home
- Pick an appropriate tune, (Danny boy may be ok for some American sessions, but not in most Irish music sessions) stand clear of songs that refer to the troubles in the north.
- keep the chatter to a minimum
- sing the choruses of the other songs when appropriate, it will calm your nerves
- Enjoy your favorite Irish music