Saturday, July 28, 2012

Considine's Craic

Anyone who knows me also knows that I absolutely love a session of music, where people can simply break out their instruments and play long into the night, harmonizing, laughing, working off the creative energy of each other. And if there's anywhere in the world where this kind of environment flourishes, it's in the West of Ireland.

And to have such a thing happen in a pub – well, that's pretty close to a suburb of heaven!

Our friends Joan and Pat hauled us out one night to the center of County Clare, the city of Ennis. And being the expert guides that they are (not only in leading people around the Burren), they knew exactly where to go for a phenomenal night of Irish traditional music.

The place was Considine's Pub, smack in the heart of the town. And as the night progressed, the instruments came out: fiddle, Irish Bouzouki, six-string guitar, a set of Uilleann pipes, a bodhrán, and a superb wooden flute. Even up at the bar, someone pulled out a set of bones and kept time with the set.

It was fast and furious stuff – if you've ever listened to the high-energy work of Solas you'd be very pleased with what you heard that evening. And after every piece, a shout would go up from all in attendance.

In the meantime, the Guinness flowed, as did the conversation.

Prayer is not too far away from these hijinks, I think. And tradition has it that the good St. Brigid herself weighed in on such gatherings. Her words:
“I should like a great lake of ale,
for the King of the Kings.
I should like the family of Heaven
to be drinking it through time eternal."

The Irish have a word for this mystical fusion of ale and song and merriment and just plain infectious camaraderie. They call it "craic."

Click here to enjoy a few moments of music from this little slice of heaven!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

1 comment:

  1. Prayer may not be too far away from these kinds of gatherings. But take the musicians to church and watch them retreat from music as quickly as they can: refuse to sing, refuse to play, insist on standing at the back and count the minutes until minutes until they can escape ("no more than 34 minutes on a Sunday, thank you Father", is a line used in real life).

    They have every excuse in the book for behaving this way - it's due to the famine and the penal laws and the English and the Vatican and the weather and the cows. Etc. But really it comes down to a faith that's deep and old, but fatally flawed, totally lacking any idea of baptismal commitment to the community.