Ireland, Johnny Daly, Irish Folklore Commission discussed on Travel with Rick Steves
On my first visit to Ireland, I found that they lived up to their reputation. We all know about the blarney stone it's an actual stone in a castle in county cork that is said to confer the gift of gab on those who kiss it. And for such a small island, Ireland has produced more than its share of the world's great storytellers. William butler yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, one and this young man. Over 500 years old. So what's behind this? The roots of Irish eloquence run deep. In ancient Celtic Ireland, bards called were the official keepers of Irish culture and history. There was no such thing as murder. And I'm sure you're all woman how the women manage when there was no mirror. And it was an entirely oral storytelling tradition. With nothing written down shanky mastered a repertoire of stories and performed them artfully to wrapped audiences. Thereby passing folklore and stories down through the generations. They would talk about stories. They would go on for three nights. There are still professional storytellers in Ireland today. Johnny Daly is one of the modern Irish storytellers who's trying to revive and preserve the tradition. It's like something ancient primeval in us that we just love stories. We entertained ourselves for thousands of years of stories, you know? Daly told me about the work of the Irish folklore commission. Which was set up by the government in 1935. They were afraid that they were going to lose a lot of the folklore in the stories. And they actually got things about a 100,000 children to go out to all their grandparents in particular with their copy books and get them to tell them the photo and the stories that they had grown up with the faith stories. Daily made a study of Irish folklore. He now holds court most evenings at the brazen head in Dublin. Which claims to be Ireland's oldest pub. He treats customers to an evening of Irish folklore and fairy stories. And the fairies realizing what had happened. They turned around and they started to stampede around them in a circle to try and get her back. They finally gave up, but just as they left, one of the fairies leaned over his horse and I came across this man who was singing songs and telling stories in the back of a little pub in county Mayo. He told us he was 82 years old. The place was packed with tourists and locals hanging on his every word. I think to put it very crudely, we're very good at both. And you know, there is it's in our genes that we like to talk. We like to notice things. That's miho demura, director of the great basket heritage center, on the tip of the dingle Peninsula on the West Coast of Ireland. The center is a museum devoted to the people who lived just off the coast on the rugged blasket islands until the 1950s. They were subsistence farmers and fishermen who spoke only Gaelic, which is called Irish here. But what's most remarkable about them is the literary legacy they left behind. In the 1920s and 30s, the tiny population of the blasket islands spawned its own literary renaissance. And produced a collection of books chronicling their lives and local folklore, all in their native Irish language. I don't know of any community that numbered less than 200 souls that produced so many books. I would like to hear about such a community anywhere in the world because I haven't heard of them up to now and I've been here a long time. Demura doesn't think it's an accident that this happened in Ireland. The basic psyche of especially people who speak Gaelic is they need to communicate with people. They need to say what's in their head you know and they are sometimes they bore you sometimes you get very, very good speakers and you listen to them forever and ever and then. The blasket heritage center isn't an area of county Kerry designated as part of the goyal tucked. Regions within Ireland, where Irish, not English, is the official language. Bernie is sending them. Bernie Moriarty grew up in a village in the Carrie goyle Texas. Her family spoke Irish at home, and she was taught in the Irish language at school. Moriarty thinks there's something about the Irish language itself that explains her people's penchant for lively self expression. It does have that richness that English just doesn't touch. Turn a phrase that generates a feeling a lot quicker than English does. Moriarty teaches Irish to school children, and also offers classes in dingle to tourists, wanting to learn the language. She gave me a little lesson. That's any story, so you could greet someone with that. Any story. Now that can't be a coincidence. I was here before me. That's it. From the island of silvertone storytellers, this is Sarah McCormick, for travel with Rick Steves. Are we bit of banter and good chair to get you into the spirit of Saint Patrick's Day. That's just around the corner on travel with Rick Steves. Hello, my name is Barry maloney from county cork and the south coast of Ireland. And I'm going to share with you my favorite artist saying. In the Irish language, the saying goes on to harvest scale cougar. Which means he who comes with a story will bring two away from you. And I love that saying because it makes me think about the way the Irish love to talk, share stories, gossip, basically. And an example of that is Montreal. I was in my hometown can sail, walking through the little farmer's market, and I overheard two ladies kind of whispering, half whispering, one, whisper to the other, she said, tell me more about that story. And of course, I listen in. The second lady replied, she said, I can't tell you any more about that story. Sure, I've already told you more than I heard myself. I think Ireland is one of the best places in the world for interacting with people. On the street in a shop and definitely in the pub. Joining us now for a taste of the Irish gift for entertaining conversation is my longtime Irish tour guiding friend Stephen. Stephen was raised in Derry in the north, but he's been living in the Republic of Ireland now for the last few years where he operates the mill town guesthouse. It's on the harbor in dingle. And not far from there, Liam o'riordan hails from county cork deep in the south of Ireland. Liam is a singer of traditional Irish ballads, and he joined Stephen and me right now to help define what the crack is all about in Ireland. Liam and Stephen, welcome. Great to be here. Thank you. Guinness or Murphy, Liam. I just thought when you order a beer in Ireland and it comes Guinness. Unfortunately, yes. But you live in a disadvantaged part of the Deep South and you don't get it. Guinness is brewed in Dublin and I'm glad to believe that it has one chemical which they use to break down the yeast because it makes they have to brew so much. Murphy's is brewed in cork, where I come from. It doesn't have any chemicals. Okay. And it's the only city in cork that I know that bruise two stouts. It proves more float and beam is out. Okay, okay, now a stout so Guinness is a stout. It's the dark beer where you can draw a shamrock on the head and it's still there in three minutes later. We're not drinking Guinness here, but we are drinking a nice beer. Let's go. And Guinness has drunk all over it and it starts very popping up the north but we don't really have much murphys in Northern Ireland where I love Murphy's, we don't drink it.