The Transformative Powers of Live Music at an Irish Pub

A symphony of melodies dance in our ears as our bodies undulate to the rhythm of the music.  The locals who have informally gathered to play in our Irish pub in Kells, Ireland have transformed this tiny bar into a warm and inviting place with a buzz.  Our Guinness induced highs have been enhanced now by this new stimulate of live music.  We are wishing we didn’t have to fly out the next morning so we could stay all night to enjoy the free impromptu concert.

The Transformative Powers of Live Music at an Irish Pub

Caitin's Irish Pub in the Ring of Kerry, Ireland. The gent;eman in the blue jacket is serenading my mother.
Caitin’s Irish Pub in the Ring of Kerry, Ireland. The gent;eman in the blue jacket is serenading my mother.

My mother and I arrived at 8pm to the Railway Pub for a light dinner in anticipation of live music.  At about a quarter to 10pm the motley crew of musicians from young to old showed up in a trickle.  With no set score or attendance required they played for love, camaraderie and maybe a free pint of beer.  One would play a tune, others would join in and soon enough the whole pub was popping with awesome folk fusion.

The effects of the music on my mother and me are stunning.  Metaphysically each note and harmony takes us to a whimsical place.  Our barriers lowered, as if cajoling us to start conversing and connecting.  My mind runs wild as I absorb how transformative these songs are on my body and soul.

I remember vividly my first time in an Irish Pub in Dublin listing to live music.

At the age of nineteen my friends and I went for a weekend while studying acting in London, England. The combination of alcohol buzz and tantalizing tunes took my consciousness to a higher level.  Over a few pints my friends and I shared stories and this great sense of companionship.  Regardless of background or creed I saw humanity for what it was: an interconnected network of beings dependent on one another.

Me and My Guinness Shirt from Dublin, Ireland. I'll have to wear this next time I'm at an Irish pub. It's green which is my favorite color and it has one of my favorite sports on it: soccer.
Me and My Guinness Shirt from Dublin, Ireland. I’ll have to wear this next time I’m at an Irish pub. It’s green which is my favorite color and it has one of my favorite sports on it: soccer.

Now twenty years later I’m sharing the experience with my mother in a pub in Kells. It’s one thing to be able to share stories with her about my travels; it’s another to be able to show her first hand what it’s really like in an Irish Pub.  The sense of community and bonding is so strong you can both see and feel the connection.

Historically pubs have existed in Ireland for roughly a millennium.

They served as the cornerstone of social culture much like churches.  Locals gather not only to drink but also to chat, greet and connect. Whether it be musicians, spectators or patrons, a true bonding happens. Regardless of what separates us, in an Irish pub you feel connected.

My mother and I are both spell bound by the concert, thankful to be spectators in this auditory and visual extravaganza. If I knew how to do an Irish dance I would have been on my feet as a willing and welcome participant to the shared social experience.  When you are next in Ireland please make sure to visit a pub that has live Irish music.  Don’t miss the experience.

My Mom at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. The brewery was founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness. Guinness is my favorite beer. I made sure to have at least one pint in every Irish pub.
My Mom at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. The brewery was founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness. Guinness is my favorite beer. I made sure to have at least one pint in every Irish pub.

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee
Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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