Posted by: mdmusingsie | June 13, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Seisiún at The Crane

As I mentioned, you never know where I’ll end up next and this particular outing was uniquely entertaining. One of my flat-mates, Todd, is a musician and he decided to go down to The Crane Bar for the Sunday afternoon session. Rosalie, his significant other, enticed me to come along. Although I was supposed to be working on my writing, I went, and am very glad I did.

I should have known it was going to be an interesting afternoon when I was chatted up at the bar by a fellow named O’Regan (as I usually do with names, I have forgotten his first name), but he was quite the character. He asked where I was from and as it so happens, I fell right into his little name game, being a resident of the Pacific Northwest. As his name is very much like “Oregon” he uses that to joke with us PNW’s (that ‘s Pacific North Westerners, for those of you not in the ‘know’). Fortunately, I already knew of the name as my good friend’s daughter’s husband’s sister married an O’Regan (six degrees of separation?).

Rosalie and I sat down next to a gentleman from the US whose daughter was playing the whistle. They had driven over from Dublin because she wanted the opportunity to play with Sean Ryan, who was leading the session (and who we found out later from Pat #2 (below) drives to Galway from Tipperary every Sunday just for this purpose). Not only is Sean Ryan a renowned whistle player, but he’s also the owner of Leap Castle.

The session went along like most, with assorted tunes, until someone called for quiet and an elderly gentleman named Pat (forgot the last name, too many names to remember) recited a lovely poem about Croagh Patrick. I couldn’t find anything on the net but the poem talked about the former name of the mountain (Cruachán Aigle) as well as the vein of gold inside. If anyone knows the name or author of the poem, please pass it along.

The music then resumed and at different points, several women entered the sacred circle of musicians to sing a song or two. Now when the musicians play, people in the pub are allowed to carry on their conversations and make all the racket they want; however, when the women are ready to sing, they call for quiet (several folks actually called out ciúnas) and eventually obtained enough of it to allow the women’s voices to be heard.

In between, another gentleman, Pat (different than the one above) came out to say his brother (cousin? I’m going to have to start taking notes) Eamon bet him he couldn’t sing a song that the brother couldn’t match with one that Pat couldn’t learn in a month. Pat (#2) then sang an entertaining song “The man from RTE” which is an adaptation of “The Man from the Daily Mail”. Now it was Eamon’s turn and instead of singing the song, he delivered it as a lyric. It was about finding out whether he could take the train “to Morrow” today and return by tomorrow tonight. Very much in the vein of “Who’s On First”. Many agreed it would take at least a month to learn it and deliver it in the same spirit. Research on this little ditty returned a number of versions of the song, including one done by the Muppets with Ohio as the location of Morrow. Naturally this particular rendition was set in Ireland.

Towards the end of the session, Eamon sang a funny song about a farmer who dreamt he won the lottery (and I always wake up at the end of my dream, too), and Pat (#1) recited another poem – one of Yeat’s works that he had translated into Irish himself (according to Pat (#2)). Admitting he hoped he wasn’t too drunk, he went about the poem, and I must say his delivery was very good as even I with my Gaeilge beagán, could understand quite a few of his words (not enough to identify the poem, mind you, but at least as many as I pick up on RnG on any given day).

On the walk back we passed a swan couple marshalling their nine signets down the canal. There is always something new and interesting to see on my walks.

It was one of the most pleasant afternoons I’ve spent in Ireland and reminds me why I love this island so dearly.


  1. Dawn, hi from Seattle!

    Your outings sound grand. I’m so glad to learn of your adventures.

    Enjoy the remainder of your Irish travels.


  2. So glad you are getting to enjoy the local music! Thanks for sharing – it sounds just wonderful.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time —

  4. Dawn, so glad you are enjoying your adventure in Ireland, but remember we do miss you. Keep the adventure going, I can picture the events.

  5. keep having fun and sharing!! btw..thanks for the awesome b’day presents, love the pen and candle! looking forward to the next installment of your novel..

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