Making your own music in Dublin: a St. Patrick’s Day Valentine

By Gail Reynolds, Rock At Night Columnist

Reynolds Rap Obviously Rock at Night is dedicated to covering noteworthy musicians and concerts; however, I’d like to depart from our mission and focus on our music making audience.  Included in this group is anyone  who likes to sing, YOU who sings in the car or joins in on the chorus when invited to by performers — or joins in uninvited.  This also targets the members of  the phenomenal ukulele resurgence.   If you are planning a trip to Dublin, this is also for you.

Shortly before I was to depart for my long anticipated trip to Ireland, I saw the viral YouTube video of  Dublin’s Tuesday Ukulele club playing Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”  in the historic Stag’s Head pub.  As good luck would have it, my first night in Dublin would be Tuesday September 29.  Even though I knew I would be in the throes of jet lag from our Monday evening Tampa departure, I wanted to to be a part of this experience.

Stag's Head-1Through the Stag’s Head website, I contacted pub manager, Mark, who was helpful beyond all reasonable expectations, both in the planning stages and that treasured Tuesday evening.  I and my travel companions had secured an apartment through the George Frederic Handel Hotel, the entrance of which was off  the main thoroughfare, which had no address to which a taxi could take me directly.  This, compounded by my sleep deprivation disorientation, was a concern.  Mark called the Handel and made sure that staff would be available to escort me to my  apartment.  I’m here to report the happy outcome!

But the fact that both Stag’s Head and Handel deserve the highest Trip Advisor ratings is still secondary.  The Tuesday Ukulele members were warmly welcoming.  Although I did not bring a ukulele of my own, various players would lend me theirs for a song or two, so I was never without an instrument the entire time.  I got to put some names with the faces I saw in the iconic video.

Not every Tuesday evening patron on Stag’s Head’s third floor plays the ukulele.  Many come by just to sing.  It seems like virtually everyone in Ireland sings, which is the joy of the country.

If you find yourself in Dublin, please go by the Stag’s Head and say hello to Mark for me.  If you are there on a Tuesday evening, sing your heart out.


Gail Reynolds