My Irish Heartbeat

Over the last week, I’ve gone and immersed myself in all of the Irish music that I possibly can. This was not a planned endeavour, but instead stems from my latest (I go through one every few months) fit of listening to nothing but Loreena McKennitt. I discovered the performance of a song of hers that I hadn’t known before while searching on YouTube, promptly went out and bought the DVD from which it came, and the wild Irish rose in me flourished after that.

The song that started it all, I should say, was Stolen Child. It’s an unspeakably beautiful adaptation of a W.B. Yeats poem. To say this song haunts me would be an understatement of the epic variety. Given writer and performer together though, how could it not haunt in some way?

I went home the day after I bought the DVD (which was Nights from the Alhambra, by the way), and continued to watch/listen to it a lot. But then I decided that I needed a change,  so I broke out one of my favourite CDs from my childhood: Van Morrison & The Cheiftains’ Irish Heartbeat (which is probably one of the most Irish things ever made). Though liking it may mean that I was, in fact, a cantankerous, drunken Irishman when I was a little girl (well, not really, but you get my point), I bloody loved that record, and have only come to love it about five hundred and seventy six times more as I’ve gotten older. Sadly, it’s not easy to find cuts from that one on YouTube, so you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s good. I did, however, do a quick search for it on Grooveshark and, low and behold, it’s there! It never leaves my playlist on my iPod, and “Irish Heartbeat” (the song, I mean) is the ultimate homesick listen.

(Of course, while I was searching for it on YouTube, I found — of all people — Billy Connolly covering it, making it one of the most “oh, that makes an awkward amount of sense!” moments I’ve had in some time.)

Then, of course, there’s The Corrs. It’s not very often I say it, but I was a huge fan of The Corrs when I was younger. And I still like them, really, though I’m a bigger fan of their earlier, less pop-ish, fare. One of my favourites is “Runaway”, because I’m a ridiculous romantic. This version comes from their unplugged sessions and is rather gorgeous.

Also, this: Lough Erin Shore, unplugged = awesome, lilting Irish tune.

I air-drum every time.

And then, to top it all off, you have the lads from U2. They pretty much own my heart, and they’re Irish, so ya know, it works.

Ladies and gents, reason #746 that I love these guys:

And so concludes the compiling of evidence that I am, undoubtedly, a really big fan of Irish music. At some points in my life, I was embarrassed by this. Now I just laugh at my former self and dance. A lot.

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