Celebrations, Cue the Music
My 21st birthday was on September 24th, and it was less a celebration than an adventure. It started in my kitchen with Mimosas at 4:30, or as the Canadians call them, “BAM and Orange.” Then we went to The Botanic for the Arthur Guinness Day Celebration. This was Irish New Years. In 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for the property his storehouse still rests on. The pub was packed when we got there. Two projector screens displayed the television program with a clock counting down to 17:59. There were cheers all around. The program had a few interviews afterwards including one from Bono. Everyone booed Bono. I’m not a big fan, but I was surprised the Irish hated him. Not only did they boo Bono, they went wild for Tom Jones. At this I laughed outright. “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone…dah dah dah dah dahhhhh!” My last four birthdays have been marked by music. My eighteenth birthday my brother flew into town and surprised me with Sufjan Stevens tickets. My nineteenth birthday my friends took me to Of Montreal. Last year I went to Austin City Limits. This year…Tom Jones. Fortunately the night and the music didn’t end there.
On a quest for live music we found the end of a set at The Globe. The Northern Irish love 90’s pop-rock. The other night someone was raging so hard to Eagle Eye Cherry that they broke their glass. This was the music of my childhood and I was surprised to learn I still have plenty of lyrics memorized. Because of this, my friends and I keep giving musicians the best shows of their lives.
The next leg of our journey involved traditional Irish music (flutes, fiddles, and lie-dee-dies) in a backroom of a pub. Traditional Irish bands always cover at least one Johnny Cash song and one Bob Dylan song. And they work! Reminds me a lot of school (home) in a sweet sad way. Next we walked to my favorite pub area. In a historical alleyway four pubs founded for sailors in 1865 meet. People pour out into the alley and mingle. So we took a break from sound and dance.
The last stop of the evening was our Irish friends’ apartment where a jam session commenced. They harmonized the song from “Once” together. Authentic. At 4:30 I looked at my phone and realized we had been celebrating for my birthday for twelve hours. We went home and in the morning we made French toast.