Saturday, 16 March 2013

St Patrick's Day: Forty Shades of Piss-Up!

St Patrick's Day is with us again.

Sales of Guinness skyrocket; around the world, Plastic-Paddy pubs give out shamrocked t-shirts and hats to everyone who manages 20 pints of the old craic-juice. Lá Fhéile Pádraig is an enjoyable ritual, a vigorous mixture of culture, extreme drunkenness and fighting. But there's a deadly ingredient too: music to make your dog howl.

I love Irish traditional music; for years I've played
the tunes on my trusty flat-back bouzouki. To listen to at home, I've a collection of beautiful, exciting songs and melodies. But what I find utterly toe-curling are the Irish standards, those terrible songs which every Paddy's Night get thrashed to death. 'Irish Rover'. 'Wild Rover'. 'Gypsy Rover'. And the all-time worst, most hated of all: 'Leaving of Liverpool'. 

Why do I dislike them so?
Because year after year, on 17 March I've been driven quite mad by hearing them bawled out in bars by sweating pissed people who want to be everyone's friend. Thank God they generally know only half the words.

So this year let's really search our hearts, make an effort and learn some new songs.
Come round to my place, I've got the really good stuff.

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