The Roaring Kelly Band performs a weekend double-treat to close out the month starting on Friday, January 30, at Paddy Mac’s in Palm Beach Gardens from 9pm to midnight, then again on Saturday, January 31, at O’Connor’s Pub in Delray Beach for the 4-6pm Happy Hour. We’ve got both ends of Palm Beach County covered so you can pick the venue you like best.
Our playlist contains many exciting jigs and one of our favorites has to be Blarney Pilgrim. The title of this jig got me to thinking about its meaning. I was reminded of a photo of smiling tourists, bundled up against the cold and mist, waiting on the top ledge of a particular castle in Ireland. Where Americans say ‘standing in line’ for those moments when people arrange themselves in a line to wait for something, other denizens of the English-speaking world, including the Irish, say ‘queuing up’. Whichever term is used, I’m astonished that tourists who travel to Ireland often queue up or stand in line in order to ‘kiss the Blarney Stone’, a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, near the town of Blarney, about 8 kilometers from Cork. To top it off, the visitor to Blarney Castle, this Blarney pilgrim, must lay down and bend over backwards to touch their delicate lips to a cold, unforgiving mineral hanging some four-stories high above ground. This acrobatic gesture is required because visitors believe that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are then endowed with mystical eloquence. I believe that those who are truly endowed with mystical eloquence are the members of the Irish tourism board that created this bit of ‘Blarney’ to begin with. What else would you call it where tourists put out good coin in order to wait in line, in every kind of weather, to touch their lips to a block of stone? Now that’s nothing short of amazing! Beyond that, I’ve never met an Irishman or Irishwoman who was lacking in eloquence. Seems to be a birthright if ever there was. No need for smooching a hardened piece of the earth’s substrata when a visit to the friendly local pub and a well poured, thirst-quenching pint or two does the trick.
Whatever the reason that motivates the Blarney Pilgrim, the Roaring Kelly Band loves playing the tune. We usually pair it with another jig, The Cliff’s of Moher, which provides a great kick. Come on in, find yourself a seat in front of your favorite libation then give yourself and your ears a treat this weekend at Paddy Mac’s in Palm Beach Gardens or O’Connor’s Pub in Delray Beach. It’s sure to be some fun!