continental drift 11/23/22: ireland

Welcome back to Continental Drift’s long awaited Irish episode! Find our playlist here, and listen back to the episode here.

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean that is made up of both the Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland, part of the UK, in the upper 1/6th of the island. Ireland is nicknamed the “Emerald Isle” because of its lush vegetation, which results from its regular rainfall and moderate climate. 

Ireland is only slightly larger than the state of West Virginia, but it has a diverse geology for its size. Ireland formed as a result of the supercontinents of Laurentia and Gondwana colliding and closing the Iapetus sea around 300 million years ago. This same collision is what created the more famous “Pangea”. 

TRADITIONAL-IRISH-MUSIC FROM IRELAND ! FOLK AND CELTIC ! AWESOME STREET  MUSICIANS ! - YouTubeThe most recognizable genre of music out of Ireland is of course celtic music, which comes from the Celtic folk music of northwestern Europe (namely Scotland and Ireland). Traditional Irish and Celtic music are often used interchangeably, though it is important to note that some traditional Irish songs may not be Celtic, and vice versa. Traditional Irish music contains fiddle, flute, uileann pipes, harp, accordion, banjo, mandolin, guitar, etc.. as heard in McNamara’s band: “the drums go bang the cymbals clang the horns they blaze away … mccarty pumps the old bassoon while I the pipes do play.” 

“The Lakes of Pontchartrain” is actually from the United States, showing the influence of Irish traditional music on US folk and bluegrass. The story details a Louisiana Creole woman giving a traveling man shelter, and the lyrics likely date back to the Civil War, with references to the traveler’s money being “no good” referring to US or confederate currency.  

Celtic segment:
The Lakes of Pontchartrain // Deanta
Last Nights Fun // Dervish
Peat Fire Flame // Brogue

Other genres of music have come to take a hold in Ireland. Jazz became popular in the 50s and remains popular among Irish musicians. 

Jazz selection:
Lucy’s // Michael McGoldrick

Rock music came to Ireland with the British “invasion” of the 1960s. In its early ages, the scene was predominately made up of Showbands‘ which were groups of professional performers who played at dancehalls and clubs across the country putting on a professional ‘show’ and playing all the American and British hits of the era. 

Early Irish rock stars, like van morrison, got their starts in show bands. Now, Ireland is at the forefront of the global rock music scene, putting out hits in a wide variety of subgenres like psychedelic, punk, indie, etc. 

Rock segment:
Comin’ Thro’ the Rye // The Real McKenzies
Soon // my bloody valentine
Happiness Isn’t a Fixed State // Kynsy
Literary Mind // Sprints

Saint Sister capture the confusion and confidence of youth on debut album –  The Irish Times

Saint Sister

Ireland has a thriving indie music scene. Saint Sister is a Dublin based duo made up of Morgana MacIntyre (songwriter, vocals) and Gemma Doherty (arrangements, production, harp). The band draws from “early Celtic harp traditions, 60s folk and electronic pop to create ‘atmosfolk’—a mix of soulful vocal harmonies, dreamy synth and electro-acoustic harp.”

Indie segment:
Dynamite // Saint Sister
Blue // NewDad
Are You Busy Enough? // Diosco na mbo

Thanks for tuning in! Next week join us in the drift to Kazakhstan