The Seanchaidhe

Anorak

anorak

/ˈænəˌræk/

noun

1.

a warm waterproof hip-length jacket usually with a hood, originally worn in polar regions, but now worn for any outdoor activity

2.

(informal, derogatory) a socially inept person with a hobby considered by most people to be boring


The old man sits at the bar in Connoly’s Pub. In one hand he holds a pint while the other gesticulates, waiving through the air like a conductor whose music is found in the rhythm of language and stories of the old country.

A small crowd has gathered around him, hanging on his every word. They roar with laughter and wipe away tears as his words transport them back to the dirty roads of old Dublin, the bloody courtyard of Kilmainham Gaol and the emerald banks of the Liffey.

He rests between each tale, drinking deeply from the thick stout that fills his glass. Men slap him on the back and offer to buy another round. From time to time they make requests.

"Brendan," they say, "Sure you remember the time..."

And he begins again, his words moving in crescendos and decrescendos, accented by the occasional fermata, a symphony of language that holds the crowd in thrall.


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Comments (9 so far!)

Average reader rating 5.00/5

HSAR

HSAR

Excellent.

They're very lucky, to have people who can say "Remember when...?" with them.

  • #2213 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
  • 5 out of 5
Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

I love the musical undertones here.

  • #2216 Posted 3 years ago
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  • 5 out of 5
Anorak

Anorak

Thanks! In my experience, Irish storytelling is equal parts language and music, the rhythm and sound of the words playing a huge part in the story, not just reflecting the content but informing it. I thought I'd sort of hint at that with the musical phrases.

  • #2222 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

I love the way different cultures tell their stories. Every one has its own unique style, but there's a direct relationship between music and storytelling, no doubt.

  • #2223 Posted 3 years ago
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  • 5 out of 5
ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

Sometimes we focus in on one detail and create a beautiful bit of art that captures the moment perfectly. This is a word photograph or a word painting that makes a nice study of a slice of life.

  • #2230 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
Mighty-Joe Young LOA

Mighty-Joe Young LOA

This was so concisely written, it was like i was there? I loved this.

  • #2251 Posted 3 years ago
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  • 5 out of 5
Anorak

Anorak

HSAR - that's the beauty of community!

Elsha and Mighty-Joe- Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.

  • #2252 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
Storykeeper

Storykeeper

This is just beautiful. I'm making the inference that Brendan is a particularly endowed storyteller. I wonder if he's more-than-humanly endowed? Or perhaps there's just more to be said about this guy's storytelling ability?

Maybe I just want there to be more. I loved this.

  • #2253 Posted 3 years ago
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  • 5 out of 5
Anorak

Anorak

Thanks Storykeeper. Nothing supernatural here, at least not in my mind (great thing about Ficlatte, others can add to it as they see fit). In Irish and Scottish tradition the Seanchaidhe were master storytellers, keepers of the cultural heritage and history. Some were tied to a distinct clan and their history, others went from town to town sharing their tales. This was just sort of a modern take on that ancient tradition.

  • #2254 Posted 3 years ago
  • 0
  • Published 3 years ago and featured 3 years ago.
  • Story viewed 26 times and rated 4 times.

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