An Irish Wedding
Have you ever been to an Irish wedding? I have just returned from one. It is a quarter to five in the morning;the sun has already climbed above the horizon;the birds are busy celebrating the new day and have eagerly been in search of food.But some of the guests have not yet left.They are still prolonging the night: dancing, singing, gossiping, and postponing the unfortunate necessity of undertaking a day’s work in the fields after a sleepless night.
The evening party was to start at ten o’clock,but many of the guests arrived earlier.A few of the nearer male relatives were looking rather awkward in evening suits with smart bow ties,and the pleasant, unsophisticated countrywomen appeared a little self-conscious in their Sunday best. Two men squeezing accordions provided the music: the old Irish tunes that have been played at weddings for many years.20. Half the people in the room were dancing the square dances21.which have been enjoyed even longer.
A score of men stood in the narrow dark hall leaning against the wall,drinking beer from bottles and speculating about crops, cattle and the current political situation. And whenever the dancing stopped,somebody would start singing one of the sentimental, treasured Irish songs: the exile longing for his home, the grief-stricken lover mourning his fate. Sometimes we all joined in the chorus, sadly and solemnly, before getting up to dance again.Irish weddings are almost certain to have been celebrated in this way for generations.
I have been to wedding receptions where champagne has been served to the accompaniment of soft unnoticed orchestral music;I have listened to carefully prepared speeches and eyed a little enviously the model gowns of women far more elegant than I could ever hope to be.I have been impressed, and a little bored.I have just been sitting up all night in a small, uncomfortable Irish cottage and I have been enjoying every moment of it.