Monday, December 8, 2008

Songs at The Abbey Bar

Rosscarbery is home to three pubs, as mentioned previously. The Abbey Bar is nearest to our apartment, less than 20 yards from the front gate of our small residential complex. The Abbey has brought us good cheer in abundant portion during our first 60 hours or so in Ireland.

Sean and Betty O’Donovan own The Abbey Bar. In a way it feels like an old living room, as do many pubs in Ireland. Open the door, and there is a bar to the right and an open fire place to the left. Straight ahead there is a dart board, where Heather schooled John and Tom in a game of cricket. (Since Tom is writing this, he is deliberately obfuscating details to protect the wounded. He will mention that when the Americans returned to the bar, the darts were gone, perhaps to protect The Abbey’s regulars from the errant pitches of yours truly.)

The pub is friendly and welcoming. The air of hospitality is comforting. The beer is poured perfectly. On Saturday evening, after a tough night at the mouse races, we returned to find a band playing at The Abbey. After the band stop playing, we met Ger Deasy, a musician who stays quite busy around West Cork. We coaxed him over to our table, where he was kind enough to serenade Heather (yeah, OK, John and I were there, too) with a beautiful a capella version of “Fields of Atherny.”

Ger has his own CD, which after hearing him we purchased for 15 euro. The album is called “Ger Deasy’s Shenanigans.” Sean has told us that Rosscarbery was known for years as “The City of Saints and Scholars.” One of the songs on Ger’s album is “Viagra.” We wondered why the song was on the album, and Ger informed us that Viagra is made in Ireland. Somewhere, those saints and scholars might be looking on all this with doubt or amusement.

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