I have always loved The Dubliners. Always. Going back to when I was a kid and played the 35rpm record of The Seven Drunken Nights, with very little idea of what was actually going on.
By blood, as far as I’m told, I’m Irish-Scottish-French-Welsh, possibly Jewish, possibly Cornish. I will never (look, I’ve typed it, so I mean it), never get my DNA checked with one of these send-away companies. Frankly, I like the idea that I’m a bit of all-sorts. I can only imagine my disappointment if it turns out I’m not as everything as I think I am.
Anyway, the Irish side… Closest to me in terms of history, I used to think I’d move to Dublin as soon as I turned eighteen. On my eighteenth birthday, a group of my friends went to Ireland for a holiday. I didn’t go along with them on account of – I didn’t know a thing about it.
Before we start feeling lousy on my behalf, I should explain one minor detail… They queued outside Blarney Castle, eager to kiss the Blarney Stone and seal their luck for all their lives. After nearly an hour, they gave up and – walked away. Can you imagine? Walked away.
When they returned and told me about it, I told them they’d ostensibly ruined their lives and no amount of vigorous rock-sucking would save them. I’m a good friend. I tell the truth.
Anyway, getting back to The Dubliners…
When fully-Scottish people hear bagpipes, it stirs something deep within. Like butterflies in the stomach, wearing power suits. For me, The Dubliners feels like butterflies in the stomach, and maybe there’s a cat in there with them.
This is the best of the best as far as I’m concerned. The Rocky Road To Dublin.
Prepare your stomach. If there’s anything even vaguely Irish in there, your gizzard will start dancing.