I’m going to be honest, there are very few Irish people that I know that can’t sing. Is that normal? For me, music has been a way of life for as long as I can remember.
At every family get together, my Grandad would get out his fiddle and people would sing or dance along. My cousins would start Irish dancing and soon enough a jig or a reel would play. The whole house would come alive with the beat of the music.
Music is a huge part of my culture; the fiddle, the tin whistle, and the bodhrán are staples in traditional Irish folk music. Some of my happiest memories are centered around the gift of music-- singing in pubs from much too young an age, or dancing to the music of an old videotape of Riverdance being played on the TV.
Growing up in a place that is so divided like Northern Ireland is, music can create a common ground that no other thing can do between the two communities. Singing and playing music becomes a way of communication, regardless of what your beliefs are. Personally, I think that’s magical.
Writer: Niamh Docherty
Location: Northern Ireland