Monday, March 17, 2008

A world without YouTube

I did have a number of YouTube clips of classic Irish tunes in mind that I might have shared with you over this long St Patrick's Day weekend (probably a 4-day holiday in any civilized part of the world!): some Dubliners or Pogues or Christy Moore. The Wild Rover is, of course, a classic singalong on this night - and (although I have no idea if there was ever a video for this) The Pogues did a great version of it on one of their B-sides, recorded a capella in a pub, with percussive accompaniment provided by stamping boots on the floor and banging empty beer glasses on the table. That would have been a good one.

Or The Seven Drunken Nights - that was a song that became warmly associated with my first, very boozy, trip to China in 1994. And I have found a couple of good videos accompanying The Dubliners' rendition of that (although, of course, in their recorded version they wimp out at 5 nights, because it gets a little too risqué over the weekend).

Unfortunately, the present political troubles - and the ludicrous over-reaction of the Chinese government in trying to suppress all news coverage and online discussion of the events - mean that YouTube (and, indeed, most of the rest of the more interesting bits of the Internet) is being denied to us at the moment. And, I fear, for the foreseeable future. And quite possibly for weeks or months to come. These are unhappy times.

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