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Singing Dubliners in a Kilkenny pub

Kilkenny Ireland, Autumn 2001 —

A few months after I wrote this page, Justin's pharmacist told him he'd read it.

Last night at Syd Harkins' pub, a large group of people were singing songs and drinking. They had been at it for a bit — we'd gotten off work right about the time of last call.

I said "I like this song." They were on "Whiskey in a Jar."*

Justin, a co-worker, said "Yeah — they're Dubs." Dubliners. He predicted that pretty soon they would sing "Molly Malone." It wasn't ten minutes before J_ said "What did I tell you?" They were singing "Molly Malone."

We could see them down through an opening from the pool-table room, about a meter higher and in the back of the house. The group, about 20 folks, were singing loudly, clapping hands and hitting the table with their palms.

Around one-thirty, they all stood and sang the Irish national anthem. They finished their drinks and left.

— Autumn 2001


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* "Whiskey in a Jar" is a traditional Dublin song. Its origins probably lie in the late 1700's.

I'd heard it first in America, performed by Metallica and played in rather heavy rotation just before I'd left the States in 2000. I had never heard the tune before that, and was surprised in Ireland to learn that it has long been a big hit here and beyond, performed by the great Irish band Thin Lizzy.

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