OT: FYI RA! Continues: Ireland 102

It’s nowhere near St Patrick’s Day but I have decided to go green. Full on green. I have made the RAndom executive decision to call Irish Week. Yep, I am jumping on the Armitage bandwagon. Assuming that people are following his progress from Hannibal/Toronto to Pilgrimage/Ireland and unashamedly exploiting the fact that the fandom and subsequently my readership may be receptive to anything that relates to Mr A’s current or soon whereabouts, I’ll dress this up as an Ireland 102 for Armitage’s information, if that makes it less tentative. But ok, I admit – it’s pretty OT. Sure, it’ll be grand, though? I really just want to gush about the wonderful country that is/will be hosting Mr A. After initial notes on language, customs and interaction, I’ve identified a few topics I’d like to post on. Music. Film. Literature. Landscape. History. But I’ll keep it light and fluffy. Let’s start with music. Hello Jazz, I am branching into your field here, sorry.

Clew Bay

A little introductory note: The impact of Irish artists on contemporary music is quite astonishing considering that this little Atlantic island has only 4.5 million inhabitants. It’s legendary musical success (most successful participant in the Eurovision song contest with a total of seven wins, two of them in a row 1993 and 1994! ok yeah, that might actually speak *against* Irish music…) may have got something to do with the English language, contemporary music being dominated by English-speaking artists and lyrics. But it can’t be just fluke that Ireland has produced critically acclaimed artists such as Rory Gallager, Thin Lizzy, U2, The Undertones, The Pogues, The Blades, My Bloody Valentine, The Frames, as well as a host of popular bands over the years – The Corrs, The Cranberries, Aslan, Westlife, Ash, Boyzone, The Hothouse Flowers, The Boomtown Rats, Bell x1, Snow Patrol. The music scene is alive and vibrant here, and there are plenty of young artists and bands out and about that are worth listening to: Delorentos, Fight Like Apes, Ham Sandwich, Kodaline, Two Door Cinema Club, Riptide Movement, The Frank and Walters – and Hozier…

We know that Mr A is a musically inclined man and likes to put a playlist together to help him get into the mood of his chaRActers. Where will this take him with Pilgrimage? Haunting Celtic melodies? Esoteric whale sounds? Melodic rock? Folksy diddly-eye? I have yet to see any folk material in his listening choices – he seems to prefer either (modern) classical or firmly contemporary music – but in the case of Ireland he will have a wide choice of material and genres to choose from. I’ve put together a few suggestions for Mr A what to put on his Pilgrimage Playlist, from the haunting to the folksy to the fast-paced rocky. Hope you’ll enjoy.

I’ll start with an eternal favourite of mine, now 30 feckin’ years old. Clannad with Bono – In a Lifetime. Haunting Irish feel to it, which the video nicely enhances with the dark, eerie landscape of the Atlantic North of Ireland. It was filmed in Co. Donegal, the county in the North Western corner of Ireland.

It’s not quite thriller-ish enough for a medieval monk chase movie, check Clannad’s “Theme for Harry’s Game” which has a bit more threat and ambiguity in it (it accompanied an ITV drama about the Troubles in Northern Ireland and is therefore suitably dark).

Bono provides a nice transition to my next choice. No way you could have an Irish playlist without U2. I love the eerie melancholia of “October” but again, on its own a bit too slow for something that is supposed to accompany a film of action and violence. The combo in this clip from the legendary Red Rock concert in 1983 *eeeek* comes closer to what I have in mind. Maybe a bit too “major”, though?

Christ on a bike! Bono so young! His screams still get meUnder a blood red sky (oh, and the bum&thigh shots *eeeek*)

If we are talking traditional music in Ireland, btw, I’d stay away from the the diddly-eye, fiddly-tinkly-ho type and go for sean-nós (literally “old style”). I’ve heard this described as “primitive” – I find it the opposite, very ornamented, very complex. Bonus: You’ll hear the Irish language:

Traditionally sung unaccompanied. Mainly lullabies and laments, suiting the harsh life of the Irish through the ages. And still a bit too slow for our purposes, even if it clearly evokes Ireland. I cannot listen to sean-nós without pictures of looming green mountains and brown bogs in my mind.

Back to contemporary rock. Next comes a band that I recommend to Mr A particularly warmly. For many good reasons. The Frames are the most underrated, undeservedly internationally unrecognized Irish band. Earthy tunes combined with great song-writing, very home-turf, fronted by Glen Hansard who won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2007 with “Falling Slowly” from his BAFTA-winning film “Once” (in which he acted and for which he wrote the music). Oh, which song to choose – “Lay Me Down”, “Perfect Opening Line”, “Santa Maria”, they all have resonance. I’ll go for “Revelate” for the frightful chanting “redeem yourself”, the harsh rock and the nod to folk via the fiddle solo, rooting it all clearly in Ireland.

I could go on and on. But I better finish up. Here’s my last recommendation – the most promising of all current Irish newcomers, Little Green Cars. Bonus: Video was filmed in the Burren, a stark, eerie landscape on the Atlantic coast not far from the current locations, and a curragh, the traditional Irish rowing boat that Weber and Holland were practicing in, makes an appearance. Little Green Cars evidently had a “soft day” when they were filming the video – grey, wet, cold. Welcome to Ireland, Mr A 😀


That’s it.

Call me Ciontach Ni ‘Pléisiúir (Guylty, Daughter of Pleasure) for the rest of the week 😀



34 thoughts on “OT: FYI RA! Continues: Ireland 102

  1. Thank you Mrs. Daughter of Pleasure for the wonderful music! Love it ❤
    I cannot see Clannad & Bono (blocked) but the German readers can find the song here: http://de.musicplayon.com/play?v=797497
    Also The little green cars,for Germans they are here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoQCJqaNz8Q
    Bono in the 80s? They (and we) were young, handsome and still talented…..
    A warm welcome for Mr. A…… (sagt man das so?)
    Mr. A wird es bestimmt auf der grünen Insel gefallen, wo er so herzlich empfangen wird ❤


    • Thanks for linking the German videos in. The whole GEMA snafus is so annoying!!!
      Oh yes, U2 in the 80s… mind you, I wasn’t even a fan back then. It took me a long time to get into them, partly because they were so famous that I didn’t want to be part of the herd… (No such individualism from me nowadays… happy to be in the flock :-D)
      Yep, a warm welcome. Or in Irish “cead míle fáilte” – a hundred thousand welcomes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would LOVE to get ahold of his music list for this one. (I have ALWAYS loved Irish and Celtic music! My collection isn’t as extensive as it should be. I might have to free up a crapload of room on my harddrive and fix that!) Thanks for the listing. My popular listening these days is woefully inadequate.


    • Glad you liked it, Zee. I am not really totally au fait with Celtic music. The folksy stuff is not really up my street. But the sean-nós is quite different from what is usually perceived as Irish folk music, and I love the melancholy of it. I also quite like the Celtic harp. Do you know Loreena McKennit? Verging on the kitsch, but very soothing. Check this one out –
      And yes, I love it every time Mr A gives us a glimpse of his listening choices. I wish he posted more often.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. aww, thank you so much! truly brilliant music and what a great reminder of fab past songs… i can’t believe i actually remember those old videos very well! 🙂
    Revelation sounds to me like just the right thing for Pilgrimage, driven, a bit unhinged and dangerous or sounding like it is dealing with some unpredictable storms of destiny… great choice!
    (you’re not by any chance dissing the one singer/composer who won Eurovision 2x 😉 Jonny Logan may be pop but he has/had a gorgeous voice and the songs were sweet but nice 🙂 i loooved him back in the day 🙂 )
    When i think traditional Ireland i don’t really think of diddly dum stuff first, but rather big ballads in female voices, the sean nos is truly haunting and soooo beautiful and the singer is incredibly musical and what a voice! It really suggests to me the spirit of Ireland, actually just like Little green cars! Love that song and the lead singer’s voice, what a stunner! another one of those haunting female voices i find, i’ll look out for more of them as really like the sound of the music.
    It will be very interesting to find out what they go for in terms of soundtrack…

    Thanks for the great music and the new discoveries
    By the way are those the other band members in the last video? we need to talk about how the Irish produce such an above average % of gorgeous men! 🙂


    • *splutters tea all over the keyboard* WHOT? “above average % of gorgeous men”??????????? Eh, no?! Haven’t really noticed that in my day-to-day environment. *coughs* Your impression is skewed, Hari, by what you may have seen on film. Who are we talking? Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Aidan Turner, Jamie Dornan? Not that many I can think of. And if truth be told, Irish men of my generation tend to be rather short, so not really heartthrob material. Plus, they have a tendency to be a weird combination of macho and mammie’s boy. Generalisation, though. (I was lucky to snag an Irish lad who is none of the above. Maybe because he’s half English??? :-D)
      Yes, when I was putting together my playlist I was also wondering how they would soundtrack the film. Somehow anything modern seems too anachronistic for a movie set in the middle ages. I suspect it will have more classical orchestration. But with only the clues from the movie blurb I am expecting something dark and dramatic, with the occasional harp, tin pipe and uilléan pipe (the traditional Irish bagpipe) thrown in. Predictable, I guess.
      Little Green Cars are absolutely fabulous. (Yes, it’s the lads in that video.) Saw them live at the Electric Picnic 2013 and 2014. Their song “Big Red Dragon” resonates *ggg* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98L5LCQtgO0 But my absolute favourite is “Kitchen Floor”


      • ohh, love the songs, need to check out the whole CD as i assume there is one 🙂
        and upsy… yes i probably judge on singers and actors i’ve seen, probably the above average % applies more to artsy talent in the population rather than looks LOL and i am probably biased in favour of the accent too 😉 a bit like with the Scots ‘ggg’ (oh and you forgot CH in the list 😉 somebody we know will notice ;-))) And isn’t Fassbender Irish too? (or we count him as German? ‘ggg’) And Brosnan of the older generation and certainly Cillian Murphy of the young one come to mind.. and more http://www.imdb.com/list/ls052528421/

        An unusual density of talented actors & singers in any case for a relatively small place 🙂 but you are right, i don’t remember bumping into anyone like we see on screen on my travels to Athlone LOL… Maybe i just went to the wrong places 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Damn, can’t believe I left CH out *begs forgiveness in the direction of Linnet*. And Fassbender (although yes, I think of him as half-German, at least in looks). Brosnan was very Irish to look at, too *ggg*.
          And sadly, no, I do not bump into such specimen in Dublin, either… As for the acccent – maybe it’s a case of finding attractive what we do not hear so often? I have always loved English accents; the Irish accent, although soft and (now) familiar, doesn’t really attract me as much as RA’s English tones…

          Liked by 1 person

          • ‘whispers’ i don’t find the northern accent all that exciting, more like hard to understand when it is really thick ;-))) I like the voice a lot ‘puuuurrrrrr’ but the accent, a bit neither here not there 😉
            the Scottish one on the other haaaaand.. ahhhh, and i loved it even when i was surrounded by it.
            and Fassbender does look more German than anything else, i think too 🙂 Which is what makes it all the more attractive when he opens his mouth and all that Irishness comes out ‘ggg’
            (struggling with the Frenchness of my environment at the moment and the excessive hours so in sore need of distraction ;-)))


            • The Northern Irish accent? Oh, I know where you are coming from… It literally took me *years* to understand a good friend of mine from Co. Armagh. And I am still laughing about the incredulity and breakdown of communication that ensued when my college lecturer from Derry kept pronouncing the word “cow” as “coy”. (He had to prompt us with “moo” to make us understand…)
              Or were you referring to RA’s Northern accent in NS? I quite like that, although it was hard to understand for me in Sparkhouse. Luckily he doesn’t use it at all when he speaks as himself… But with that voice I’d listen to any accent tbh…
              Fassbender – I am not really seeing his attractiveness at all. But maybe that’s just me being obstinate. Plus, I am really personally offended that his German is more or less non-existent. (But maybe I should blame his father for that…)
              Why is your environment French? Are you in France?


              • no, no, the northern accent is the UK northern accent 😉 ie RA’s natural when he goes into it, which is less and less these days 🙂 i don’t think i know the Irish one even close enough to distinguish regions or NI from Ireland 🙂
                Accent talk reminded me of the NZ ..deck :-p hilarious!
                and yes i am in Paris, ie 16 arondis. sun , blue skies, no clouds in sight 20C, and i work 8,30 to 7,30pm+ on an insufficient food allowance and had to buy my own milk and it is problematic and hardly any men in sight, and we were refused 2x!! at 1 of only 2 restaurants in our budget to sit where we suggested, on grounds of reservations that did not exists ( we saw locals coming in much later being given same tables) .. basically 2 English women who also can’t spend more than a 1 single plate of food + water are of zero interest to local business… Miserable to be in this city like this. I could be anywhere, at least less frustrated. Grumpy today as i mixed up time difference and got up too late to even have breakfast, the only reliable meal. Production staff yesterday were sweet and lovely, the highlight of this, the rest is sigh.. i just want to be back home and unfortunately in 2 week’s time i’ll have to be back for another 10 day-2 week stint. Rant over…
                And shame on Fassbender’s lazy ass….. have you heard Mark Strong’s sweet and lovely German in comparison? 🙂 I’m not a fan of Fassy, he just looks German to me and speaks Irish which i like but was not aware of his lack of other language.. shame.

                As to Mr A he can speak anything he likes, especially in my ear ;-))) in a way i wish h’e speak in his natural accent more often, but it’s washing down .. shame.. (another reason why i like the Scots, you’ll never be able to wash McAvoy, Tennant, McGregor off their accents, well they also like to proudly sound them off ;-)))


                • Not to get into an endless discussion of this – but I always thought that RA was “familiar” with the Northern accent through his dad and can convincingly put it on but doesn’t speak it naturally as such? Doesn’t really matter, though.
                  Paris – that could be fabulous, especially as I can see on my social networks that the weather is brilliant over there at the mo. I saw pictures of sunshine and people dressed in shorts!!! But your story of the food situation horribly confirms my reservations about Paris. Not that I know much, have only been there twice. But it is just the kind of arrogance that I have occasionally heard mentioned.
                  I guess the whole “travelling for the job” thing wears off quite quickly when the allocated expenses are not adequate… I hope your colleagues are nice, though.
                  Mark Strong speaks German? Why?
                  PS: Love the Scots accent, too.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • ah i think you are right about RA 🙂
                    Mark has an osterreichische Mutter 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J_bCZejdnE
                    sehr gut, nicht wahr?

                    My colleague is nice and the production people here are nice. I’ve done touristic Paris before but it feels like such a shame with this weather that all we see is the inside of the office and the hotel 😦 I love the language and such but being a foreigner can be difficult in certain situations/places. And a tight expense budget doesn’t help if you don’t have the time to go into town for more choice etc. eh, we survive, i have plenty great chocolate and my favourite Marillen marmelade to compensate 😉 and the croissants, freshly baked in the morning, not bad 😉


                    • OMG – Mark Strong has just risen hugely in my estimation. I had no idea!!! I know it is really silly, but I very much appreciate it when someone whom I perceive as a Brit (or any other nationality, for that matter) has kept up with his origins and bi (tri???)national identity. Language is a huge part of that, and being able to speak his mother tongue fluently shows me that he has an affinity to his mother’s place of origin. Well done, Mark Strong! (and poopoo again to Fassbender *ggg*)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • jawohl! 🙂 and he speaks Italian too i think, well he still looks very Italian as well, brilliant combo. And wait till i finally get round to posting his acceptance speech! Easily the best i’ve heard. I kept wait for somebody to upload but no luck, i have it on my sky box but can’t copy, i’ll film it with my new Canon 100D (<3!!!) and post it like that. Better than nothing because it seems nobody has immortalised the moment when the nominees as mentioned, i want to keep that for the future too 🙂


        • Yes, somebody DID notice the glaring omission of the six foot one inch tall Mr. Hinds!! And to a lesser extent the omission of Fassy (six foot). And Liam Cunningham, forsooth! I could go on…
          Thanks for the tasty selection of music, Guylty. Seeing Bono’s tight trousers ALMOST makes up for the omission of so many gorgeous tall Irishmen from your list. And I very much enjoyed learning about the Little Green Cars. The song seems like a modern update of a very traditional ballad.

          Liked by 1 person

          • LOL i too had forgotten Bono was like that and also how videos were made back in the day where were were not quite as politically correct or worried about every feckin’ detail 😉
            CH is that tall??? wow…

            Liked by 2 people

          • Yep, Hari called me out. And really, how could that slip through… especially as Mr Hinds was one of my early movie crushes. tsktsktsk.
            Liam Cunningham – hm. Maybe in a few years’ time 😉 I also hear he is a bit of a “difficult” character *coughs*.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Difficult? Now I am intrigued… you’ll have me scouring the internet for gossip. Or is this something you heard through the non-digital grapevine?
              Mr. H. was an early movie crush? Let’s see… was it “Persuasion”?


              • Remember hearing somewhere that LC is supposed to be rather volatile, more to the public than his colleagues, though.
                And yes, Persuasion. Totally adored Capt. Wentworth. *That* letter… There was a time when I could quote it off the top of my head… And CH just embodied the externally cold ex-lover so well, total poker-face. I particularly liked back then that he was not a conventionally pretty pretty boy, but a man whose handsomeness took a minute to register… Well, I suppose that still applies.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Indeed, you have summed him up. In both book and film, someone sees Wentworth brooding in the concert hall and remarks on his good looks, noting that he is Irish 🙂
                  And the letter–yes, I think that one film has put Mr. H. in the romance pantheon forever, despite the paucity of lead romantic roles in his catalog. He also played Rochester, yet opinion is split on that performance. I loved it, but some women find him too harsh, and not handsome enough 🙂
                  Now if Mr. Liam Cunningham is a jerk toward his fans, I find that a serious character flaw… but he’s still babelicious 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Armitage Weekly Round-up 2016/10 | Guylty Pleasure

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