Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kick Up Your Heels

Of all the festivals I go to, Irish music is one that always seems to inspire people to break out into spontaneous song and dance. People who look like they might be too old to get around well suddenly find a way to kick up their heels and do a jig. There is a special quality of life to the music.

Melodies seem both ancient and familiar stimulate people to want to sing along with some of the bands. And some of the bands keep the old vocal traditions going by singing some numbers a capella which only seems to make the music more emotionally powerful.

Young people respond to the call of a great fiddler as well as old people. As will all festivals there are merchants who are all doing their thing, hawking their wares and having a good time, with the music as a constant, and everyone is enjoying themselves, even if business at some of the booths is slow, because the music colors the atmosphere and people are happy to be swimming in it. Working in this environment is stimulating.

Many of the items for sale feature art sporting the familiar Celtic knotwork and themes drawn from mythology and folklore, the craftsmanship colorful and styled with great flourishes. Musicians frequently introduce their songs by way of storytelling, and the whole of the mood is one that is full of joy and life.

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