A face full of character, the folk singer outside a store in Kilkenny. He had a beautiful voice and we stayed around for a while just listening to him. We asked about the jigs played by many groups in Brighton. He told us they have the same in Ireland it is just a gimmick He said traditional songs were originally unaccompanied but most of them had music added in the 60s.
For instance ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is a folk song written by Francis McPeake, a member of a well known musical family in Belfast, Ireland of Scottish origin. ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ is a famous Irish song set in the southern mountains of Ireland, with specific mention of counties Cork and Kerry, as well as Fenit, a village in County Kerry.
Alan plays folk and several instruments and I sing a bit and am learning the harp so we loved this encounter. Later we found a music shop along the road where we got great book of Irish pub songs. The man in the shop even showed me how to play them!
Family connections with Ireland Meeting this man reminded me that many years ago I went on trip to rural Island when one of my daughter- in -law, who is Irish, my son and the baby were invited to a family wedding. I happily agreed to babysit. I remember the people, the music, the landscape and the hospitality we had from her family members, some living in remote areas.
In contrast this last trip to the Ireland was for tourists but not many of us get the chance to meet the ordinary people anywhere in the world which is a real pity.
Waterford’s history includes Vikings, it’s industry includes crystal
The Irish National Stud has guided tours but with limited time we chose to spend most of our time in the spectacular Japanese Gardens on the same complex. Here you can journey from a cave of birth, paths of challenge, serenity, mourning etc.or just enjoy the walk. I am not sure the Japanese need such labels, never having been to Japan but it is the one place that I would still really like to visit, but then not as a tourist so pretty unlikely.
I have always been fascinated by Japanese gardens. My mother and I used to try and create what we thought they were all about, in miniature (remember this was pre-internet)!
Medieval Museum some people are just so kind – the lady in the museum had just sold the last ticket of the day, but seeing our exhaustion (Alan was starting to feel ill and spent the next two days in bed) and disappointment kindly showed our three of the most significant treasures in the space of 15 minutes.
1. There is a whole set of vestments that survived the 17th century wars of religion because they were buried in 1650 before the city fell to the army of Oliver Cromwell. (I took pics of two). They were re-discovered 123 years later when the medieval cathedral was being demolished
2. The Great Charter Roll from 1372. This 4 meter long parchment depicts Waterford history, including portraits of 5 medieval Kings of England.
3. Henry VIII’s Cap of Maintenance
The hat was made from Italian velvet from Lucca in Italy using baleen from a whale to stiffen the crown. .
With that we goodbye to Ireland
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