Peeking out from under the table as a young lad, he would watch their feet fly. Mesmerized by the movement. Inspired by the music. Enchanted by the rhythm of the nails, embedded in the soles of their shoes, on the flagstone floor.
One of the delights of my current travels in Ireland is spending an evening with Christy Barry in his home. An intimate audience. A turf fire burning at one end of the living room, Christy and James playing music at the other. Christy’s wife Sheila serving drinks and open face salmon sandwiches. And the stories. For we are not just here for the music of two of Ireland’s best traditional musicians. We are also here for the stories. Stories of a musical heritage.
Christy and James, who have played together since they were twenty-one and that was more than a few years ago, grew up in this west Clare landscape. And they remember well the nights when neighbors would gather in thatched roofed cottages to dance from dark to dawn. Gathering after long days of working, the men cutting stone in the nearby quarries, they would dance through the night and return to work the next morning.
Having heard Christy’s stories several times now, when he and James play I can close my eyes and see the dancers. Filling the room with their movement. Sharing the rhythm of music and flying feet on hearth stones. Creating the rhythm of community. Within this rhythm how could their hearts not beat as one? What might be possible if we created such rhythm in our communities?
I invite you to step into this experience through the following video. You will be re-directed to watch on YouTube…and it’s well worth it. “Well, well. You’re all very welcome…”
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org