Saturday night I had the privilege of going to a traditional Irish pub outside of the city center. I know what you're thinking - aren't all pubs in Ireland traditional Irish? But no, a lot of them have some form of catering to tourists. Now, I certainly haven't been to every pub in town as a test, but this is just my observation thus far.
There was a small gathering following a golf tournament held in the honor of the unfortunate death of a friend's father one year ago. The gathering was mainly the family and then a few people who had participated in the tournament that day.
The band was called the Beer Mats (what we call coasters) and definitely played traditional Irish music. There was lots of singing along - not by me of course. The American just sat and drank. At one point, a song came on and everyone stood up and held hands. Not wanting to stand out (and really not having a choice since someone grabbed my hand), I did the same. Standing, swaying, singing - good time had by all. Later on in the night, we were all still standing and the national anthem started playing. I was told to put my drink down. No drinking during the national anthem.
The family completely took me in the entire night - I was told lots of stories.
Four to five pints later (Guinness and Bulmers), I was done. The pubs close around 12:30 (eek) and they flick the lights slowly so you're sitting in the darkness a few times. Then people walk through and start saying "Time to start heading out folks," "Come on guys, seriously, we need to start closing up," "Ok seriously, please start gathering your things. We want to go home." I heard a comment from the group, "Good luck with that."
It was a great night had by all. Hopefully I'll get to do something like that again soon.