Revisionist views on Irish music

We had been warned, before coming to Ireland, that the romantic notion of walking down to the local pub to listen to original Irish music was a thing of the past, that all the pubs had been turned into sports bars and that no one would be chatting with us.

The impromptu group at O'Donoghue's

The impromptu group at O’Donoghue’s

And since this week marked the beginning of the World Cup, I figured it was a reasonable

expectation. But I am pleased to say that, after two days in Ireland, we have not been disappointed.

We heard the first music being played when we walked past O’Donoghue’s Pub on Sunday afternoon. A group of musicians shows up every Sunday – apparently the places are interchangeable, and the barmaid said we could sing a song ourselves if we wanted to.

Next, as we walked toward St. Patrick’s Cathedral from St. Stephen’s Green, near our hotel, we found a men’s chorus, all in tuxedos, singing Aretha Franklin’s “I say a little prayer for you.” Finally, all in the same afternoon, we happened into St. Patrick’s for Evensong – so I can tell you first hand that music is doing OK despite the World Cup. Our tastes are flexible.

Our route

Our route

More flexible, perhaps, than that of the cab driver who took us home from the Cathedral. When we told him how we’d spent our day, he said he didn’t really like what he referred to as “diddle diddle music” – his term for Irish music. He said he remembered fondly the 1967 “summer of love” and that his preferences were the Mamas and the Papas and the Lovin’ Spoonful.

Dublin was the first stop on our trip to Ireland. We headed from there to Belfast, and then we will go to Derry, Galway and Kenmare. I am including a map of the route. More on Belfast is coming up

A wedding reception coquet match at the green in Trinity University, Dublin.

A wedding reception coquet match at the green in Trinity University, Dublin.

in the next post.

 

The famous hapenny bridge in Dublin, one of the oldest cast iron bridges in the world.

The famous hapenny bridge in Dublin, one of the oldest cast iron bridges in the world.

4 thoughts on “Revisionist views on Irish music

  1. Roger McNally

    I recall hearing about how the locals viewed ‘diddly-diddly’ irish music as for the tourists. This was 10 years ago, so I gather traditional irish much is a bit a hard find. Enjoy Belfast and hopefully, visit the dividing sectarian line. Have been enjoying your blog, keep it up. Thanks.

  2. Enjoying your posts. Love croquet wedding reception!

  3. Are you thinking of changing your name to O’Schaefer?

  4. I can’t believe the cab driver doesn’t like the Diddle Diddle music – revoke his Irish credentials! Wonderful stories, David.

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