the phrase “ceol agus craic” literally means singing and having fun, and doing a bit of trad dancing on the side. i envy the camaraderie of Irish trad musicians who can pick up a fiddle, tin whistle or accordion and join in playing old Irish songs and tunes. these musicians all play by ear and with wonderful joy-de-vivre.
some may sing in native tongue,
fiddles and bodhrans may battle,
button-accordians join the throng
– spoons on knees may rattle.
yelps syncopate that rhythm riot,
laughs and smiles exchanged,
feet tap in time, not so quiet –
nothing needs to be explained.
I envy those who play by ear
no sheet music evident on hand,
that kinship craic evidently clear
in those Chomhaltas* ceili bands.
Protestant culture cannot compare,
garrulous gatherings, bred in bone,
when someone sings a poignant air,
or set steps sound on slate flagstone.
Comhaltas = Irish music and dance centres
photo credit: http://quinlanireland.com/testimonials.html