So I’m sitting at O’Flaherty’s tonight, which I sort of intended to make a regular first-Sunday-of-the-month stop. I even had my routine planned: bring the Economist to read, try a different single-malt Scotch for my single-malt diary (yes, keeping one now), have something different for dinner until I find what I like and settle on it, listen to Irish music of the instrumental type with fiddles and hammer dulcimers and pipes and things…

Then tonight, they rang a bell behind the bar and one of the waitresses sang something I don’t remember ever hearing before. Then she passed out songsheets for “There’s No One As Irish As Barack O’Bama” (you have to love the Irish, they’d claim the Maccabees if they could throw an apostrophe in there and prove one drop of Irish blood). And I was all set to settle up and catch the light rail….

…and then they rang the bell again and she started singing the Fields.

You know. The Anthem. The fight song of Celtic FC, Muenster rugby and the EUS. And I sang along, full voice, didn’t miss a note and threw in a surprisingly loud “HEY BABY LET YOUR FREEBIRDS FLY” where appropriate.

Afterwards, an old fella at the bar wanted to know if I was actually from “the Holy Land,” as he said. Turns out he was Mr. Ray O’Flaherty, the proprietor of said establishment. And that the music is much more rambunctious of a Tuesday night and I should come out.

Early birthday present?

How can anyone possibly think otherwise?

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