29 Jan What do you know about Ireland? Curiosities about the Emerald Island
Ireland is an old land full of charming corners and dotted with taverns worthy of being inhabited: by the people who run them and the atmosphere and music sessions that are improvised and by everything that is generated there. That’s part of the spirit of Ireland. Anything can happen, if there’s a good mood… and there is!
Part of that spirit has been exported with the diffusion of the Irish Pub to places like Spain. Now there are taverns here that host sporting events and live music and anyone who wants to get into the pub and a little bit of Irish culture as well. But there are still nooks and crannies of the Irish character that are not illuminated, as if from the corner of the back of the pub, to which the light that enters through the door never came to give and was reserved only for the oldest customers of the place. That’s why here come this set of curiosities about Ireland and its Irish madmen, to bring a little bit of light to Irish culture and so that newcomers to it, whether Spanish or Swedish, have a little clearer what they can find when they cross the threshold of The Wild Rover on a Saturday night …
Let’s go with the curiosities, then. Ireland is also known as Emerald Isle, after the poem William Drenan wrote in 1795 entitled “When Erin First Rose”. The fragment that most interests us said so:
Alas! for poor Erin that some are still seen,
Who would dye the grass red from their hatred to green;
Yet, oh! when you’re up, and they’re down, let them live,
Then yield them that mercy which they would not give.
Arm of Erin, be strong! but be gentle as brave;
And uplifted to strike, be still ready to save;
Let no feeling of vengeance presume to defile
The cause of, or men of, the Emerald Isle.
Within this glittering and passionate greenery of Ireland for which it is world famous, stands out a name: Phoenix. And, curiously, it’s in Dublin. It is Phoenix Park, an area of sixteen kilometres of flora that makes it the largest park in Europe.
Another fact that is not very well known is the existence of an Irish language. There is also an Irish alphabet. This alphabet consists of eighteen letters, among which are not j, k, q, v, w, x, y, z. This is not the English language spoken with an Irish accent, but a separate language.
Ireland is a land of music. Irish sounds can take over any corner of any party at the most unexpected moment, that’s something known. What is perhaps not so popular is that traditional Irish music has its own instruments made in Emerald: the bodhrán, the fiddle, the tin whistle or the bagpipe. And what would each look like? Well, the bodhrán is a kind of small drum, the fiddle resembles a violin, the tin whistle is a whistle, while the gaita is unique like itself.
And going to the most earthly pleasures… do you know the delicious Irish stew? It is one of Ireland’s most typical foods and consists of nothing more and nothing less than a stew made from lamb, onions, potatoes and a little parsley.
If it has whetted your appetite, all you have to do is go to the Irish tavern that is closest to you and you know… only by living together can you really get to know your neighbours. So we wish you a long stay in the Wild Rover among beers, music, more beer and delicacies of the Emerald Island. And don’t worry, it’s all about culture!