I'm so glad St. Patrick's Day is over.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I was born and raised in an extremely Irish household and genuinely appreciate the holiday for more than just the green beer, but I'm exhausted.
Growing up as an Irish Step Dancer, St. Patrick's Day was never a holiday, it was a season. A season during which me and the rest of my troupe performed multiple shows a night around Connecticut. We were even required to take the actual 17th off from school each year, as we'd have several shows to attend during the day. Probably because back then, Michael Flatley was a relatively new name, and finding a group of Irish Step Dancers was uncommon.
This year I dug out my old shoes, shined their silver buckles, and again performed, this time as the percussion for Everybody's Favorite Irish Drinking Songs Band (/Orchestra?). And after a total of eight hours of stamping my feet over the past few days, I'm done. In fact, I worry I may have actually caused permanent damage to my left foot, which, by the time we hit Red Square Monday night would not support my weight on its own.
'Tis the season.
The part I'm not sick of, however, is the music. Practicing over the past month has reminded me of just how oddly comforting the sound of a bagpipe can be (I know, right?). I guess it boils down to the fact that traditional Irish music is what I grew up listening to. And as much as I love the raucous versions of older songs that bands like Dropkick Murphys continue to release, it's the real traditional sounding bodhran, fiddle, and accordion infused songs that I secretly (or not so secretly) prefer.
Which is exactly what I found at Burlington's City Hall this past Sunday when I brought the kids I used to nanny to experience a real Irish Ceili. While the chance to dance was somewhat limited (totally fine with me seeing as my legs had already been reduced to a permanent state of Jell-o), the music was even better than I had anticipated.
Across the stage of the auditorium sat two rows of musicians - I counted twenty-five total - which, much to the delight of my babysitting charges included Robert Resnik of Robert and Gigi fame, on spoons.
The group played a wide variety of tunes, some with words, others without, some specifically for Zack Warshaw and his group of dancers, and others just for the kids who wanted a chance to spin around the room together. And it was awesome.
I know that there are a variety of Celtic music nights around town, but I think it's rare to see such a huge group playing together, and with that in mind I urge you way far in advance, to attend next year's Ceili.
Especially if you're looking for a more traditional way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. You know, one that doesn't include a Guinness pint served with ONE POUR and into a COCA-COLA glass. No, seriously T.Rugg's, what was up with that?
In other news, you probably know by now that Peter Freyne is retiring from his post here at Seven Days. While I have only been with the company for one year, Peter has been a routine part of my Tuesday afternoon, and I will sincerely miss him plopping down in the chair next to my desk to talk politics. Freyne once took a second to mention my anti-war efforts in his blog, and I received it as the biggest of compliments. So I thought I'd in turn take a second here at Solid State to thank Peter for always encouraging me to continue the fight, and to generally say 'hats off'.
I will miss you very much, Peter, but you can rest assured I'll be hunting you down at your local haunts to get my Freyne fix!