In Ireland, music serves a much larger role than simply as a means of entertainment. It has significant historical, social and economic implications that have helped shape the nation’s identity.
Storytelling truly exemplifies Irish music. Songs not only focused on the political and social issues of the day, but were also used to tell of the nation’s history. The Irish have faced many challenges in their past, most notably the Great Potato Famine. As a result of hardships like these, many Irish citizens were forced to leave their land and loved ones behind. However, they did not forget their origins or their culture, and music was a means of preserving their Irish roots.
From a social perspective, Irish music is typically upbeat and tends to be representative of their fun-loving nature. Arguably one of the most important cultural institutions in Ireland is the pub, where music is a necessity. The Irish are a hard-working people, but they are also world-famous partyers. After a long day on the job, it is common, if not expected, for Irish men and women to go out to a pub where they will assuredly hear many of the folk songs and ballads, both traditional and modern, that their culture has to offer.
Because Ireland is so closely associated with music, and its music so beloved, it helps to bolster the nation’s economy. While a number of notable musical groups come out of Ireland, the real way that music helps the Irish economy is through tourism. If a pub is able to entertain its patrons, then conceivably they will come back again in the future.
In conclusion, music is so intertwined with Irish culture that it is necessary to understand the importance of it. While many are familiar with Irish music, the influence that it has on the historical, social and economic aspects of the nation should not be overlooked.
1. William H. Grattan Flood. (2005). A History of Irish Music. From http://www.libraryireland.com/IrishMusic/I.php.