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Many of our friends who travel with Authentic Vacations want to hear Irish music. Not the canned stuff, but the real traditional sound that makes you stomp your feet, clap your hands, and sing even when you have no voice. When the band starts up, whether you’re sitting in a Dublin or West County pub, it’s a celebration.

The music, of course, dates back as far as the people themselves. (Written collections go back to the 18th century.) It survived, in part, because Ireland had a strong oral tradition—that’s often true of agricultural communities. We thank George Petrie, Edward Bunting, Francis O’Neill, and Canon James Goodman for combing the countryside, collecting the songs, and preserving them.

The tunes stayed within Ireland’s borders until the 1950’s. At that time, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann was formed to promote Irish music, song, dance, and language. Its’ festival, Fleadh Cheoil, became wildly popular. Local music tip-toed across the shores.

As the folk scene grew in the states, the Clancy Brothers became a success. In the mid-‘60s, The Dubliners and The Chieftains had worldwide hits. Next, artists such as U2, Thin Lizzy, and Van Morrison fused Irish folk with rock-and-roll and punk. Then the music went to the movies—when we hear it behind a film, it sets the scene perfectly. Visit a pub in Ireland, makes friends, feel the joy!

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