Monthly Archives: February 2013

Trad {An Ireland Post}


One of the reasons we traveled across the pond to the Emerald Isle this past fall with Rob’s parents was to listen to some Traditional Irish Music in the motherland.

Rob’s dad is a huge fan of Irish Folk music and has been for decades. Some of his favorites include The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Rob grew up listening to this music and has developed a love as well.

When I met Rob, I quickly learned that he was King of the Mixed Tape. I still have his first CD he compiled for me: Carrie Ann Myx – 10/03. That’s the month and year we first started dating!

In December 2003, I started doing Wine Tastings. When business picked up and I started doing two or more tastings a week, he began making me a CD each month to listen in my car to and from tastings. Some of the songs were those that reminded him of me or us, some included new music he just wanted to introduce me to, some were comedy tracks; but there were also Traditional Irish Folk tunes. Over the years, I’ve heard several versions in both classic, modern and punk rock styles!

So, naturally, I’ve come to learn and love many of these songs, too.

You may even know a few of them yourself! Here is one of my favorites, played by some street musicians in Galway. {I apologize in advance for the video and the small screen. It’s the first time I’ve used You Tube.} I think their version of The Irish Rover is superb!

Some other songs you may know include:

  • Rocky Road to Dublin
  • Finnegan’s Wake
  • Danny Boy
  • Black Velvet Band
  • The Real Old Mountain Dew

Okay, I could go on for ages, but those are just a few you may recognize. But it’s not just the songs that make the music special; it’s the instruments used, too. The bodhrán, a traditional Irish drum, is one of my favorites!

In Ireland, Traditional Irish Music played in pubs is known as Trad. And we were lucky to sit in a few pubs to listen to some locals play while emptying a few pints of Guinness.

Rob and I found that everyone we spoke with was proud of their Irish Trad and would share their favorite singers and groups. Our first night in Dublin, after stopping at a pub recommend by the Irish bartender we met in Chicago, a couple sitting next to us initiated a conversation which eventually turned into a discussion about Trad and the most popular and well-respected artists who sing such songs. They insisted that we go check out O’Donoghues for some live music because it has such a huge historical connection with Trad and celebrates this music seven nights a week.

We did make our way over there later that evening. But the place was packed! There were no seats to be had, nor really any room to stand comfortably. Instead, we came back the following day with Rob’s parents just to check out the place and the photos on the wall of all the musicians who played there over the years.

Our first real Trad night took place in Donegal at the Reel Inn. We arrived nice and early to be sure to get a seat. There was a gentleman named Terry, who was brought in via wheelchair by his son and friends to celebrate his 90th birthday that evening. I remember when they wheeled him in, the guy pushing kept bumping into table legs and chairs. “You shouldn’t be driving!” Terry yelled. It made me laugh.

He also came over to chat with us before the music began. Do you know how much I adore the stories of people who have led such long and full lives, in a world that I could only imagine?! One of my favorite stories of Terry, who is from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland {part of the UK today}, was when he was back in Germany many years ago. He was out one night when someone had learned he was Carrickfergus started singing the the town’s song to him “I wish I was in Carrickfergus! It was at that time that he realized he only knew the first few lines of the song! Everyone else had to sing the rest to him. He kept chuckling over this. Too cute!

The band played and it was a fine night. We enjoyed some good craic and plenty of cider.

Live Trad at the Reel Inn, Donegal, Ireland

Live Trad at the Reel Inn, Donegal, Ireland

And eventually, they gave Terry the mic, to sing a tune of his own:

Happy 90th, Terry!

Happy 90th, Terry!

Side note: Terry always had a pint of Guinness and glass of whiskey in front of him the entire night!

In Galway, in addition to seeing those fine lads in the YouTube video above play on the streets, {and buying there CD for future enjoyment} we spent an evening at Taaffes Pub listening to more great music:

Live Trad at Taaffes, Galway, Ireland

Live Trad at Taaffes, Galway, Ireland

We heard some of our favorites, learned some new local tunes and enjoyed the evening sipping pints of Guinness and Murphy’s. Those are times that I’ll remember for years to come. If you are traveling to Ireland, don’t miss out on the nightlife of listening to Trad with the locals!

Want to learn more about our trip to Ireland this past fall? Check out these links:

Wine in Wine Countries, Guinness in Guinness Country

Ireland – Weather & What to Wear

The Beauty that is the Emerald Isle

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Whiskey Wednesday – An Ireland Post

Irish Sport – Hurling

Celebrating Gaelic Football

Irish Food


And I haven’t forgotten… Here are Monday’s eats:


San Franola Granola {a favorite of mine that I first sampled from a Love with Food box!} plus enough 1% milk just to cover the granola. I forgot to snap a shot, but today I did of the nutrition facts. I also had 2 cups of black coffee at work.

San Franola Granola Ingredients & Nutrition Facts

San Franola Granola – look at the protein & fiber content!


Lunch included a big salad with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, chopped carrot & celery, green onion, sunflower seeds, blue cheese crumbles, rotisserie chicken (1.5 oz) & lite blue cheese dressing:

Salad with

Afternoon Snacks

Not pictured: Banana & Fiber One Brownie


Monday is Salad Night in our house. Having already had a big salad for lunch, I decided to opt for a side salad with different ingredients, a little leftover pulled pork (about 1.5 ounces) and a piece of ciabatta garlic bread (140 calories).

His & Hers Salads

His: Salad with mixed greens with, chopped carrot & celery, green onion, garlic croutons, bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles & lite blue cheese dressing (with garlic ciabatta bread)

Hers: Side salad with spinach, grape tomatoes, chopped carrot and celery, green onion, chopped almonds, double cream brie and raspberry açaí vinaigrette dressing (with pulled pork and garlic ciabatta bread)


Not pictured: apple slices with Biscoff Spread {a Goodie Box favorite!}


If you know Irish Folk Tunes, what is/are your favorite(s)?

If not, what type of music do you listen to that is not mainstream?