Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Importance of Music

What is one of the first things (other than the obvious alcohol themed responses) you think about when someone talks to you about Ireland? The knowledgable people would probably answer with something having to do with music.

I mentioned in my first post how much I love Celtic Woman. While they are definitely my favorite musical group, my vision is not narrowed down to their music. Celtic Woman sings mostly traditional Irish music, some of them, while considered modern, still have that old Irish feel to them. Some examples of the former is the ever-famous Irish song, "Danny Boy." "Dulaman" is an example of a more modern song with an old Ireland feel. I'd strongly recommend going to Youtube and checking out both of those songs. You won't regret it.

As I said, I am not solely a Celtic Woman fan. The Dubliners are also one of my favorite Irish groups. They sing the tongue-in-cheek "drinking songs." My personal favorite is "Monto." That is where I learned one of my first Irish phrases - "Pog mo thoin" (Kiss my ass).

Enya is another very popular musician. She sings traditional songs, but also writes a lot of music herself, which could only be classified as within the "Enya" genre. One unique quality of some of her songs is her dubbing her voice over and over in order to get what sounds like an entire chorus singing together, with the harmonies and melodies gently intertwining within each other. A popular hit from Enya is "Orinoco Flow" (note that Celtic Woman also covered this song). My personal favorite is called "White Is In The Winter Night."

Irish music covers a wide range of genre's - Celtic, New Age, Pop, Rock, Irish, Traditional, Classical, and Folk. Before one could make an opinion about "Irish music," one must first experience all of the different styles of Irish music. Not all Irish music is like the slow and somber "Danny Boy," nor is it fast and funny like "The Rocky Road To Dublin." Look up on Youtube The Pogues' "Love You Till The End." If you didn't already know that The Pogues were an Irish band, would you have been able to tell that this song was an Irish pop song?

For me, I love all of the styles of Irish music. I especially love the songs where I can play my Irish frame drum (called a "bodhran" (BOW-rawn)). Speaking of which, if you want to start an Irish band, but don't know how to play an Irish instrument, try the bodhran if you have even the slightest knack for keeping time. The bodhran, I have found, is an incredibly easy-to-learn instrument and amazingly addictive.

Le gra <---Irish for "With Love"

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