Ireland: the land of the leanan sídhe, and unbelievable folk music. The Irish culture is one that many American adopt (and no I’m not talking about this).
The story of the struggle of both being Irish then an Irish immigrant lives on stronger than possibly any other immigrant group. In fact, you could never meet anyone of Irish decent in your life but a lot of people just feel a bit Irish. That history has allowed people to become obsessed with that intoxicating culture of drinks, smiles and great music.
On a personal note, Ireland has been a country that I have wanted to visit since I was a kid. I used to be an Irish dancer when I was a kid. For years my friends and I tried to plot how to get to the green isle. Who knew the answer was to move in with the English? The Irish Fest in Milwaukee is the biggest in North America. Lots of that love is returned. Gaelic Storm’s “Floating the Flambeau” is a reel named after a river in Northern Wisconsin. Sounds as beautiful as it looks.
After visiting Dublin, it’s clear that the magic lays outside of that city in the hills, valleys and the streams. No one could blame the Irish for being so fiercely proud of what they are. Very few countries are as quite as aware of who they are. The traditional jigs and reels may not be what dominates the pubs in Temple Bar (that would be covers of Kings of Leon these days, it seems), but if you choose to be quiet and still enough on a clear day in the country, the music still makes sense – you can hear it playing in your head.