[weekly world music 2]

Topic: Music

Solas: Nil ‘Na La (Solas)

The Bothy Band: The Tar Road To Sligo/Paddy Clancy’s (BBC Radio One: The Bothy Band Live In Concert)

In honor of Saint Patrick and his drunken feast day (during Lent, no less!), Weekly World Music turns this week to Ireland.

A few years back, I had the pleasure of touring around the Emerald Isle for a couple of weeks in June — the season when it rains only half the time — with my then-girlfriend, T. We had little in the way of set plans, but T had acquired a map of Sheela-Na-Gig carvings, and we set out in our rented Toyota Yaris to find them.

This put us in some curious places. On our way to an evening of traditional music in Doolin, a small coastal village in County Clare, we’d pulled into a pub in a tiny hamlet where we ate rich seafood stew with a one-armed fisherman and watched Clare win a big hurling match against their rivals from County Kerry.

By that evening, McDermott’s Pub in Doolin was hopping, a celebratory crowd gathered to soak up the reels, jigs and Guinness. The evening grew a bit hazy as it wore on, thanks to several pints of Bulmers cider (available in the US as Magners), until at last we came stumbling out into the dark night and wended our way back to our bed and breakfast, laughing and drunk, refreshed by the cool salt air blowing in from the North Atlantic, our souls still thrumming with the music now fading away behind us.