As tributes to the landscape and culture of Ireland go, this is certainly a unique take on the idea, but its blend of celebration, humour and tradition are not to far away from what folk music is really all about. Not the over produced dream folk haze that seems to accompany travel company TV advertisements, nor the London Irish punk-folk experience that has become the cool sound of an Ireland in exile but instead the sound of the late night, pub lock in that is actually the beating heart of Celtic folk music tradition.
It’s also a testament to video maker Fabien Aldrin that he spent 2 months sleeping in his car, travelling the length and breadth of the island to film everywhere from Belfast and The Giant’s Causeway in the north to Wexford, Cork and Galway at the opposite end of The Emerald Isle.
Musically the song is a sort of folk concept piece, taking traditional sounds but putting them over a drifting and shifting, almost prog structure as it tells its meandering tale of travelling on a shoestring budget and of crossing one the lands magical denizens to pay for the journey. It encompasses all sorts of sounds, from gentle jigs to lilting balladry, epic poeticism to …well, just plain silliness. But even at its more jocular moments it is never anything less than a love letter to that place.
It’s a neat little song on its own but it really needs to be watched via the video, not just for the sheer beauty of the locations that they took the time to include, but for the fun of the storyline that they are enacting. The result is a blend of cinematic seriousness and breathtaking beauty with a wonderfully low budget montage of Irish caricature but delivered in the most reverential if knowingly slightly silly way.
And that is what makes the whole thing so great. It never takes itself seriously, both the music and video are clearly made by people who love the country, the landscape, the culture, the music…the drink… and as a result will still be finding favour when bigger budget, po faced productions have faded into obscurity.