I’m not much for the American bar scene. Especially in the west, where I call home. The pub scene in Ireland is completely different. The pub is where friends come to meet, where community happens, where old men talk about the past and young men talk about hurling. It’s men’s night out (most nights) or lady’s night out. I once saw a group of women in Kilkenny that were headed out for a bachelorette party or some such event all dressed in short black dresses with white sashes, all with blonde Marilyn Monroe wigs. 20 or more. What a sight.
What you don’t see is stupid drunks or fighting. You seldom see even so much as a disagreement. Oh yeah a matter of rivals or the like, but very rarely a fight. Not doubt it happens, but in America, by my experience, it’s like part of the entertainment.
In Ireland, the pub scene doesn’t get warmed up until well after 9:00 and the music sometimes doesn’t start until 11:30.
Live, usually traditional, music is almost ubiquitous in Irish pubs and restaurants. Live music in American bars is somewhat of a rarity. Not in Ireland. Live music in Ireland is another of the many artistic outlets. No wonder so many great bands, musicians, poets and writers call Ireland home.
Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking America. We have a completely different history (a good bit of our history made up of Irish lads coming to America) and I don’t see this as a competition. However, it would be nice to see us slow down, trust one another, not judge, and encourage the arts. Not the giant works of Christo and the like, but the guy or gal that really likes to sing, play a tune, tell a story, read a poem or play a bit of classic rock and roll. You know, traditional American music.