the Source of Traditional Irish Music
The Irish are known for many things, but none more
attractive than their wonderful traditional music. You can hear it played impromptu in the
streets by itinerant musicians, or at organized warm weather festivals from late March
into November. It inevitably belongs to the atmosphere at fairs, celebrations, or public
events of most kinds. Indeed, Irish music remains at the crest of a wave of popularity
unparalleled by other national folk music types in this age of mass-merchandised music.
Visitors to Ireland
can easily experience traditional Irish music. In Ireland you will want to watch for
cheoils, music festivals, which occur virtually every week from early spring until
mid-autumn. Here you will find organized performances of music, singing and dancing and
spontaneous performances, too.
Much of the music will
seem vaguely familiar to most American visitors for two reasons. Millions of Irish
emigrated to America in the last 150 years and brought Irish music with them, and much of
our bluegrass (and, hence, country, and, therefore pop and rock) music can be traced to
Scotch-Irish roots from the earliest waves of settlement of the American colonies.
One of the hallmarks
of Irish music is audience participation. Nowhere is that more possible or more enjoyable than in an Irish pub on
traditional Irish music nights. Pub music with Irish folk instruments, especially the
fiddle, guitar, concertina, flute, accordion, and bodhran (the Irish one-handed
drum), is an infectious mix of ballads, drinking songs, lullabies, reels, and patriotic
songs, many with choruses that invite enthusiastic singing along.
PUB IN GARRYKENNEDY,
HOME OF REGULAR
TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC
SESSIONS, AND GOOD FOOD AND DRINK.
ONE OF MANY SUCH INTIMATE
AT FIRST GUESTS
CAN DISCOVER AND ENJOY
IRELAND'S AUTHENTIC ORIGINAL
Irish music and
instruments have reached some popular prominence not only with internationally known
traditional Irish folk acts, like the Chieftans, but also with elaborate dance and music
productions like "River Dance", pop acts like The Pogues, and rock acts like U2
Thin Lizzy and even Metallica. Typical may be the Corrs,
whose emergence in 1999 onto the international scene brought a fresh look at old themes.
reflects something about the Irish people as a whole," says violinist/singer Sharon
Corr. "The Irish have a lot of hope, despite all the troubles theyve gone
through over the years. Theyve always known how to laugh and have fun. Thats
where the tradition of up-tempo Irish music and dancing comes
from. But theres that mystical, haunting
sound as well, which reflects the
"There is a
certain paradox about it," adds younger sister Andrea Corr, lead singer and tin
whistle maestro. "Its a hopeful sadness."
Traditional Irish music is heard all over
HOME AT FIRST's
After all, it wouldn't be Ireland without it!
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