Saturday 26 September 2009


Purely in the interests of research, we've visited a pub or two on our journey around these islands, and I have to say it's been a pleasure, whether jammed around a table of friends in The Glasshouse on the side of May Hill, eating Welsh lamb shanks in Y Brennan tucked beneath Harlech Castle, or sitting by an open peat fire in Sean's in Athlone, allegedly Ireland's oldest pub.

In Ireland live music was a constant: original guitar ballads, keyboard comic songs, traditional diddly-dee on fiddle and bodhrin, or unaccompanied singing. I was pleased not to leave Ireland without hearing Black Velvet Ribbon and Wild Rover played apparently without irony; but best of all, and hilariously unexpected, was one old man's alternative version of Flowers of the Forest. It was an absolute joy: Google it.

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