Fake Irishing non-Irishers

Fake Irishing non-Irishers

This evening at the library (one of my jobs) we’re having a local ensemble in to provide some "authentic traditional Irish music and dance" on the main floor. The acoustics are really terrific for unamplified sound and we host a lot of music in our program schedule.

I have to man the fiction desk so I can’t watch much more but a few moments ago I stole away to watch them tune up outside in the parking lot. I counted four sets of the GHB, someone wearing a kilt, several flat tweed caps, and even one of those those gigantic bass drums.

Boom boom boom, it went.

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A very good Scottish fiddler around here told the story of getting a gig in March a few years ago, and arrived to find the hall adorned in Kelly green shamrocks. The folks who booked her had listened to her CD, and thought she sounded Irish, despite all evidence to the contrary. She said she did her best to keep people happy, but it was not a good experience…

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Most of our listeners do not have the intense focus on style
that we do. To them it all sounds vaguely "celtic". To some of
these people it’s all "folky" whether it’s Irish, Scottish or Bluegrass.

It’s kind of depressing actually for those of us who are really
trying for authenticity and fighting against geography.

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Ah be Jaysus, aren’t there 50 threads a year here asking what the difference is between diddley and diddly? And they’re from people who purport to care

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Ha, no way. I work at a library too! The lady who does the displays wanted some music to put on in the background for an hour or two on the 17th, which was nice. She knows I play the fiddle, so she just handed me a blank CD the night before and told me to go wild.

I dunno, I guess some people put more thought into doing some actual research before they try to organise these things, whereas others think ‘meh, close enough, no-one will know the difference’.

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"Several flat tweed caps"? You never heard of a duncher?

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What’s the "Ah be Jaysus" for, michael? Faking Irishness are we?

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always

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to be sure, to be sure

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By not pointing these errors out, by accepting it all in silence we perpetuate it. People can do better. They only need a little direction and a little effort. Not a lot. Just a little. Just a little tiny teeny weeny itsy bit of small small miniscule effort and the world is improved and enriched a small amount ….

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What the difference between diddley and diddly?

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Nothing wrong with flat caps.

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I think they’re coming back into fashion. When I was in France last summer, it seemed all the coolest, trendiest twenty-somethings were wearing flat caps.

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Could be worse… around here you see more hipster fedoras. *shudder*

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You really think you’re gonna improve the world by shouting at the massed pipe bands in Fifth Avenue? I can just see you. It’ll be like that final scene in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Grabbing people by the scruff of their neck and shouting, "IN SILENCE WE PERPETUATE IT".

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diddley and diddly
whiskey and whisky

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You’re gonna have to shout bloody loud to be heard by massed pipe bands,

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exactly

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I’ve worn flat caps since I was about 8 years old (not all the time - I take them off for funerals). Donegal tweed is my fave, but I had a great one I purchased at a market in Manchester for a tenner that was Yorkshire tweed, but I left it in the back of a cab much my distress at the time.

Bought my latest one in Dublin last weekend from Kevin and Howlin - tweed heaven.

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I know I’m getting old, but — why do you want music in a library?

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I’ve worn flat caps since I was about 30. I think it was more of a coming-of-age thing than a fashion statement. Of course, being old, I had no idea that they were the height of fashion amongst the young until very recently, when they were probably already past their peak and becoming old hat.

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"I know I’m getting old, but — why do you want music in a library?"

Old? Paleolithic, more like. Haven’t you ever heard of ITunes?

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CreadurMawnOrganig, I see your brimming with puns

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It could be worse, at least their hearts were in the right place. Back in the seventies I played at a St Patrick’s day celebration in a Borough Hall in London. One of the organisers put up a tricolour over the entrance, but someone rang the police and complained that there was an IRA flag flying at the hall and the organisers had to remove it.

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LL, I wasn’t expecting an answer, and certainly not a straight answer, in fact I didn’t even ask a question, I was just placing a grenade in the mustard, come on now, a bit more cynical next time, I need some fun, I’m stuck here in Nam with roughly 100 hundred prostitutes placed strategical more or less outside the front door of my hotel, I need a valid reason to stay in my room.

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"I counted four sets of the GHB, someone wearing a kilt, several flat tweed caps, and even one of those those gigantic bass drums…" (gravelwalks)

They must have been the Orangemen.

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"someone rang the police and complained that there was an IRA flag flying at the hall and the organisers had to remove it"

Around here it would have been flying in the House of Representatives - flown by a guy who’s now in the business of investigating religious communities for their alleged ties to terrorism. Irony is best when you don’t do it on purpose, don’t you think?

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You’re gonna have to shout bloody loud to be heard by massed pipe bands,

Maybe firing off a burst from an MG42 over their heads will get their attention…

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I had the opportunity to watch some of the music a little later in the night - just a few minutes worth - but the band leader had switched pipes, and the rest of the group looked more like a session. They played a set of jigs which was quite good but then an air which I think the crowd could have gone without.

I don’t usually make too big of a deal about such things (music from this island, that island, etc) but I thought a pipe band playing Scotland the Brave and Amazing Grace as they marched up to the performance venue was a bit much for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Every Patrick’s Day gig I’ve ever played - no exaggeration, every one - has been interrupted at some point by a horde of wee kilted skirling beasties, and Scotland’s Depraved was always on their list. I never understood it myself, but there’s a lot of things I don’t understand, so I would just use it as a little ten-minute breather.

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It’s the Scottish upset that they don’t have their own holiday I guess. St. Paddy’s is the only thing closest to it they have, and I guess they would like to share haha. Nothing wrong with that. Personally, I think they should make March Celtic history month and add all those countries and islands in their own special month. They have black history month, why not Celtic?

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The GHB (or something similar) and massed pipe bands have possibly been ‘Irish’ for longer than the uilleann pipes have. And seem very much associated with ‘Irishness in North America (see the footage from Enda’s recent visit to Obama for instance).

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But maybe not playing Scotland The Brave

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More likely Fáinne Geal an Lae, out of tune.

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Upset Scots? Ha bloody ha. It’s you wannabe paddies on this thread who are upset about the successful infiltration of the Scottishness into your beloved saint’s day

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"Around here it would have been flying in the House of Representatives - flown by a guy who’s now in the business of investigating religious communities for their alleged ties to terrorism. Irony is best when you don’t do it on purpose, don’t you think?"

One of the funniest Daily Show segments I’ve seen in a long time was Jon Stewart showing clips of this guy flailing about, trying to explain why the IRA was different, basically because they weren’t targeting the US. Priceless.

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…. weren’t targeting the US … with Libyan supplied semtex

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Jeeze, Michael. You expect a member of the US House of Reps to be bothered with pesky details and nuances like that? He’s an elected official, for Christ’s sake.

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ha ha

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If the Scots are prepared to swill green beer, they should be made welcome. And encouraged to bring green haggis.

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I don’t like green beer and haggis … sam I am

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Scotland The Brave is a great tune provided it’s played on almost literally any instrument other than the GHB. That g natural at the top is quite excruciating. I don’t suppose it was a Highland Bagpipe tune to begin with. I hope not, anyway. No decent GHB composer could have done that - surely?!

Scotland has lots of public holidays. The majority are local, and like Brigadoon in reverse. That is to say, you drive into some town hoping to stock up and buy bannocks, tam-o-shanters etc. from its winsome inhabitants, and find the place as locked up and dead as an abandoned film set. The locals are all at rugby matches conducted with singular ferocity, or riding round the boundaries of their territory on hill-tops in the middle of nowhere.

God knows what they do up there. I suspect proud parents look out over the next-door territory and tell their kids, "One day, all that will be yours. And if it isn’t, we’ll be very disappointed in you…"

These town holidays are wisely held on different dates from town to town, so their celebrants don’t all meet up and start a huge battle lasting for weeks. The selection of the dates seems entirely random but is probably guided by some murky calculus.

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Nah it’s not grumblings from a wannabe paddy, you won’t get that from me, anyway. Just a simple gripe from a librarian. A guy who classifies things for a living and doesn’t get out much.

I guess I should take this opportunity to renew my annual St. Patrick’s Day contribution to this forum: I read somewhere that St. Patrick had his eyelids tattooed blue in accord with local custom. I don’t remember where I read this but I’d love to know if it’s true. I once saw a guy in a nightclub with tattooed eyelids, pretty fierce stuff.

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"I read somewhere that St. Patrick had his eyelids tattooed blue in accord with local custom…"

It was probably in a local newspaper saying he’d turned up as a protester against the scheme to put a motorway through Tara.

Startling body fashions are generally the custom among the protest fraternity.

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Sounds like a Hawkwind show. But I thought I saw it on the History Channel, not the Quatermass mini-series. (The Quatermass films are far better than the television incarnation, btw. My favorite is Quatermass and the Pit.)

Okay, enough name dropping for one post. 😀

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Someone on Facebook jokingly asked me if I had tried the new McHaggis Meal at that popular chain of Scottish restaurants called McDonald’s. In reply, I asked the man if he said that "sheepishly"?

Laurence

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As a not totally authentic "celtic" band we went to Sardinia, and were invited to play in a "British" pub. The outside of this vast place (it was on an industrial estate, next to something selling heating pumps) was adorned with a huge representation of tower bridge, made out of (I think) white pvc plumbing pipe. Inside, it was a hoot - decorated with authentic British Shillelaghs and other similarly inaccurate geo-political objects d’art. In some obvious Sardinian in-joke, which I didn’t really get, I ended up on a float, playing my harp next to an eight-foot high papier-mache model of Saddam Hussein. Probably just as authentic as the music we were playing, though!!

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Back to flat caps, if I may cross post.

Is there anything that makes a duncher distinctive, other than the wearer?
Is it merely another name for cap?

I saw a reference to duncher, associatedd with the Belfast shipyard workers.

Thanks.

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Now’t up wi flat’ats. As an ex-miner, I have worn them since school, with muffler and whippet.
Mind you, I have started wearing a trilby of late, due to trendy kids wearing flat caps (hats have a brim), even wearing them when in the pub or on T.V.

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I play uilleann pipes and Highland pipes.

Some St Patrick’s Days it’s playing the uilleann pipes all day (in trousers) and some it’s playing the Highland pipes all day (in kilts) and some it’s a mixture.

I do what the person who’s playing me wants.

If hired to play Highland pipes, I don’t play Scotland the Brave or any other recognisably Scottish tunes. No Scotland the Brave. No Amazing Grace.

This year, for example, two of my four St Pat’s gigs were on Highland pipes, and I played

Fields of Athenry
Ar Eirinn ni Neosfainn Ce Hi (is that Irish enough for you?)
Samhradh, Samhradh
The Curragh of Kildare
Cook in the Kitchen
…etc

About the "fakers" perhaps the worst example of it I experienced was with a local woman who is a fine Cajun style fiddler.

She approached me asking if I wanted to do a gig with her, an Irish wedding reception. She had heard that I play Irish flute and pipes.

So we get together to practice for this gig and it turns out that she doesn’t know a single Irish tune! Her idea is for me to learn her Cajun repertoire (on Irish instruments) in order to trick the people into thinking that they’ve hired an Irish band!

Her attitude, as she summed it up: "They’ve heard me play. They like what I do. They won’t know if it’s Irish or not."

I declined the gig.

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Geoff,
Said duncher is just a flat cap, common Nornirn parlance when I was a Belfast shipyard worker in the 60’s.
Sam.