“Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely ’round the Fields of Athenry”
In my last weekend before finals I decided to take one more trip in Europe and go to Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin was rich in history and culture. It’s media content stressed heavily within the realm of music. Every restaurant or pub that we went to had some form of live music daily, many of these places had several live acts playing throughout the day.
Most of these performers played popular American classics along with traditional Irish tunes. Irish take pride in their music and much of their history is deeply routed into a type of celtic-folk music and street ballads. Unlike America who uses its music as a form of entertainment the Irish have historical references within their songs.
An example of this would be the song, The Fields of Athenry, which originates back to the 1700’s and references the Irish Famine that took place.
Music is such an intricate part of Irish history because it was a way of communication and still is being used as that. The Irish used poem and song to tell stories about events happening in time and would use these songs to pass their stories along generation to generation. Other historic Irish songs that I heard throughout my time in Dublin include, Wild Rover, Finnegan’s Wake, and Molley Malone.
The fact that these songs are still being sung within present day Dublin does not surprise me as the Irish take pride in their history, culture and where they came from.
I feel that if American music was more enriched in history and had more substance to it, rather than it being purely for entertainment, then it would be a more uniform way of communication throughout citizens.
There are some American-Celtic bands, however, that have tried to instill these popular Irish Ballads within their music. The bands Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and Street Dogs all put a punk-rock twist to these once folk-ballads. In fact, the Dropkick Murphys cover several traditional Irish songs including Wild Rover, Fields of Athenry and Finnegan’s Wake.
One of the most popular pubs we visited, The Temple Bar, had live music scheduled for every hour it was open and the last band of the night played songs from With or Without You to American Pie to Sweet Home Alabama with the bar being jammed shoulder to shoulder with people watching, reminiscing, singing and enjoying themselves.
I truly wish America was as musically enriched as Dublin was.
Nicholas Vitukevich, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Pierce Arrow Blogger