Craic: a term for fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland.


Poster in Trim, IrelandTo the nearby town of Trim we went on a Saturday night, for the promise of traditional Irish music.

Just before the four-piece band began, a family of four sat down beside us. As the crowd grew bigger, and our tables inched closer to allow people to move around us more freely, we got to talking.

The conversation started like this.

“Is this lad your boyfriend?” the elderly lady asked, leaning over the table to talk to me, when it would have been much easier to just ask Pete, who sat right beside her.

“No, he’s my husband,” I said. She then launched into something I didn’t quite understand. As we are staying quite in the thick of rural Ireland, both Pete and I are having problems with the very thick, un-understandable accent.

I caught two words: son and single. And by the posture of the man next to me, who was bent over with his head in his hands in absolute embarassment, I guessed that she was attempting to play matchmaker.

“We don’t play no focking ballads, but if you do have a request, we will try to play it for ya,” the lead singer said before launching into their first upbeat tune.

It didn’t take long before it was standing room only in the small pub. Dressed up in our best backpacker clothes, we were vastly out-dressed by the Irish glitteratta. Sequins and baubles stood out next to my cotton dress and leggings, and Pete’s only button up shirt and jeans.

They took as good of care of the pub as they did of themselves. Everyone attentively used coasters on all the hardwood and on top of the redressed barrels. There were no waitresses, but no need. On the way up to the bar, everyone took a table full of empties with them.

Everyone clapped when he said to clap. They sang the chorus when he said to sing the chorus. The rest of the time they were silently mouthing all the words.


Live Music from Trim, Ireland

But her old man Katie, came from Tipperary,
In the pioneering year, of forty-two,
Her old man, he was shot in Tombstone city,
For the making of the Irish mountain dew.


You’re doing what? Traveling around the world for how long? Only people on TV and in the movies do that. I never been out of Trim.”

She then proceeded to introduce us to everyone around, including her single son Callum, who sat on my left. We were instantly minor celebrities in our little corner with questions being fired every couple of seconds about where we’ve been and how we can afford to do this. No, we did not win the lottery. No, no inheritance. Are we Bonnie & Clyde? Sure. Let’s go with that.

In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn’t all drown
And the marks of our fetters we carried

“Do you tell your wife you love her?” she asked Pete.

“Yes, everyday,” Pete said.

“Well you should, she’s a beautiful lady.”

Irene, goodnight Irene, goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I’ll see you in my dreams.

(That last song was one of many ballads played, I might add…)


27 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • July 18 2011

    So, now I can say that I know somebody famous? 🙂
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    • Pete
      July 19 2011

      you CAN! but only in Trim 😉

  • July 18 2011

    Delightful. But what what struck me the most is…

    Only you two could come up with a post about an obscure (though no doubt exceedingly charming) town called “Trim”.

    And while we’re on the subject – whattheheck is a “focking ballad”???

    Inquiring minds wanna know… 😉

    • Pete
      July 19 2011

      hahaha, just try saying it with an Irish accent and you should get it 😉

  • Love, love, love this post! It reminds me of everything there is to love about traveling – enjoying cultural events and meeting new friends while enjoying local beverages. Sounds like the perfect evening to me 🙂
    Debbie – European Travelista recently posted..France Celebrates Bastille Day!

  • July 18 2011

    GREAT story! You are an excellent story teller… Keep ’em coming!

  • Taryn
    July 18 2011

    I heard once that Love Bites by Def Leppard was a great focking ballad, but I can’t imagine why the band would want to encourage…oh wait. Just re-read that sentence with emphasis placed on different words. As you were.

    Wishing you much craic throughout your Irish journey.

    • Pete
      July 19 2011

      Hahahaha! Yes, the emphasis changes the sentence dodn’t it 😉

      Thanks Taryn, always love reading your comments

  • Jeremy Branham
    July 19 2011

    I love this post! I think it captures the culture and craic of Ireland beautifully. The pub scene, music, and conversation seem so Irish and what an awesome experience for you!

    • July 20 2011

      Thanks Jeremy! I hope we have many more of these experiences while we are here…

  • July 20 2011

    They’re really into the love stuff here – John and I were standing on a street in Dublin deciding whether or not he should cross the street in the drizzle to get chocolate. Deciding no, we turned and three Irish girls started gushing about what a beautiful couple we were. Not sure what we did but it made us smile. Wonder if they would have said the same if we had been arguing about the chocolate? 😛
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  • July 20 2011

    eheh hard time with Irish accent? When I moved to Ireland I didn’t speak a word of English, you can imagine my level of understanding.. Now I’m ok I guess, I’ve learned the language from scratch with them!

    • July 20 2011

      We are catching on (and do okay in places like Dublin), but the people that live around here have VERY thick accents. And I keep pronouncing new words with a Spanish accent, so I’m all over the place, I’m sure they have a hard time with me! 🙂

  • July 20 2011

    I love this. I’m sure now you’ll encounter friends wherever you go there. One thing that amazes me about Ireland is how tidy it is! The English have given the Irish a bad rap about this, but the fact is that the Irish are ten times cleaner and more likely to pick up after themselves.

    My husband and I spent a couple of days in Trim. It was January and about as cold and wet and windy as you can imagine. We nearly got blown to pieces touring the castle – but I recommend doing so if you haven’t yet. Our tour guide there was easily 70 years old and led us along high steep walkways like a mountain goat.
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    • July 20 2011

      We have been to the castle – all our photos from it are going up on Friday! It’s such an awesome little town. Funny you should mention how clean it is – we just met the head of tourism for County meath and he was telling us about the “tidy towns” initiative where every year a panel tours around and picks the “tidiest town”. What a great initiative!

  • July 20 2011

    I know Trim well – I can’t believe that woman’s never left it, it’s only up the road from Dublin for heaven’s sake!
    robin recently posted..A Starling In The Apartment

    • July 20 2011

      No kidding, right? We love Trim (have castle pics coming out on Friday). BTW…we went to the Bull & Castle in Dublin with Inspiring Travelers and tried all the beers you recommended! I like the Galway Hooker the best (so weird to say that!)

  • “We don’t play no focking ballads!” LOVE it. I’m gonna start saying it randomly throughout my day…. 🙂
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week — Wat Phu Khao Thong, Ayuttaya, Thailand

    • July 22 2011

      Haha, me too then! They sure like to drop the eff bomb around here, for all occasions.

  • July 21 2011

    OK – I must win the lottery so I can come and visit. I would absolutely LOVE Ireland!
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    • July 22 2011

      Yes you would! Screw lottery, just GET HERE! 🙂

  • July 25 2011

    Oh noooo. Thats such a sweet tale. You guys are making me really homesick.

    • July 25 2011

      You can’t be homesick because you can’t come home yet! We don’t want to leave! 🙂

  • July 25 2011

    Hmm – spoke to an Irish friend of mine who tried to make me speak with an Irish accent. Apparently I wasn’t too bad… or I was drunk. Not sure. Regardless, she’s not nearly as bad when it comes to the accent as others. Some people need to come with subtitles.
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    • Pete
      July 26 2011

      Ha, subtitles no doubt! About the accent, I think I’ve been picking it up unknowingly (and more so when there is booze involved), but it’s very similar to east coast Canada and that’s where my family is from, so I think it might be just natural for me…

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