Today we spent a few hours in the classroom (the longest stretch of time during this whole trip) listening to and discussing Irish music. By Irish music, I mean music written by Irish people or about Irish things or even just in the style of traditional Irish music. When I saw the packet of lyrics I was pleasantly surprised to see a handful of songs that I grew up on, songs by the Sex Pistols, Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, and Morrissey.
Before this class, those songs had just been tied to memories of riding around in a conversion van with my friends listening to our favorite tunes, but I learned there was a lot going on beneath the surface of these songs. One of the songs I found most interesting to learn about was Teenage Kicks by The Undertones. On the surface this is a very light-hearted and innocent song about a boy’s crush on a girl. What I learned today was that this song was released in the midst of the Troubles and it was an expressing a desire for normalcy in a time where life was anything but. We had an extremely interesting class today!