The Pub’s Got No Beer!


Easter has arrived again and tomorrow is Good Friday, also known as Great Friday or Black Friday. From midnight tonight until just before lunchtime on Saturday the sale of alcohol in public houses, supermarkets and off licenses is not permitted in the Republic of Ireland. Apparently, it will be possible to buy drinks on trains and at train stations with a bar, although you will need to produce a valid rail ticket as proof of travel. A small price to pay, surely. Not only that, but most supermarkets and off licenses will be extremely busy tonight as people stock up on beverages for tomorrow. The irony is that there will probably be more alcohol drank tomorrow that there would have been if the pubs remained open. It is, of course, always more fun to engage in a regular activity when that activity has been prohibited, even if it is only for 24 hours

I had considered attending the Great Friday Festival, a music event that will take place at a secret location in the environs of Limerick city. Unfortunately, that secret location will most likely be a field and the amount of rain falling at the moment has put me off the idea. If you don’t mind a little rain, you can find more information about the trip on an earlier post here. Instead, I plan to travel to rural Tipperary tonight to sample fine wines, even finer food, and the finest conversation at a restaurant called Roots. I’ve heard that the chef is quite accomplished, even though he’s from Australia. In the meantime, here are a few tunes for the day that’s in it, beginning with one from the land down under

Slim Dusty was a country singer from New South Wales whose Pub With No Beer (1957) was the most successful single up to that time in Australia. The pub does have some wine, but the clientele agree that “there’s-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear/Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer”. The song was translated into different languages and was quite popular in Belgium, Austria and Germany in the 60s. The song has also been recorded by The Dubliners and by Johnny Cash

Pub With No Beer – Slim Dusty

Jens Lekman is a Swedish singer-songwriter who now calls Australian his home. For folks in rural Sweden, according to this song, Friday night is bingo night. It’s quite a bouncy, humorous ditty with witty lyrics that seems to be both a celebration and a critique of Swedish country life. I don’t know if bingo is also prohibited in Ireland on Good Friday but, if it’s not, it might be an exciting alternative for anyone who’s at a loose end tomorrow

Friday Night (At the Drive-In Bingo) – Jens Lekman

Finally, I’ll part with a Celtic drinking song from a band that’s had more drinks that some small nations. The Parting Glass originated in Scotland at the end of the 18th century, though its tune was around a few centuries before that. The song travelled to Ireland where the lyric changed over the years. On his 1964 album, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Bob Dylan used the tune, but changed the words, for his own song, Restless Farewell. So, join with me as I raise a parting glass in the company of The Pogues: “Good night and joy be with you all”

The Parting Glass – The Pogues


One thought on “The Pub’s Got No Beer!

  1. Pingback: Publicans Raise Spirits After Nailing Good Friday Opening Hours « Town Full of Losers

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