Country no. 55 on my World Karaoke Tour: this time, I had the luck of the Irish

Me with a friend at the Guinness Storehouse, where I learned how Ireland’s most celebrated beer brand is brewed and then enjoyed a complimentary pint.

Sometimes when I make my first foray to a country, I don’t find an opportunity to karaoke there. On rare occasions, I’ve even been known to travel to a country twice without managing to add it to my World Karaoke Tour. That occurred with Italy, where I finally sang (in Rome) on my 3rd visit to that country in November 2015; and it was also the case with Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic), where I finally sang (in Prague) during my 3rd journey to that country in September 2017.

As of mid-February 2018, another nation for which my initial 2 journeys to it had proved karaokeless was Ireland. For the background of how I got to that point, see this post. So that month, during the long weekend that the U.S. celebrates as Presidents Day weekend, I returned to Ireland’s capital city for the sole purpose of performing karaoke there!

Daytime in Dublin: a classic beer and a classic book

During the daytime hours of my latest sojourn in Dublin, I kept myself busy, focusing on a couple of attractions that appealed to my passions for history, culture, and general knowledge. First, I toured the Guinness Storehouse, a massive facility adjacent to the St. James’s Gate brewery (the largest brewery of Guinness stouts). The Storehouse presents the history of the beer brand that dates back to 1759, and also explains comprehensively the processes involved in the production of the company’s beverages. Included in the price of admission is the opportunity to enjoy a pint of one of those beverages, on the house – an opportunity of which I naturally took advantage.

Also on my agenda for Exploring Dublin v. 3.0 was the Book of Kells. That tome is an illuminated manuscript crafted circa 800 A.D. in a Scottish monastery and containing the texts of all four New Testament Gospels. Originally 680 pages long, it’s been split into 4 sections (one for each Gospel), 2 of which are on public display at any one time in an exhibition at Dublin’s Trinity College – where the Book of Kells has resided since the 1650s. (Trinity College – whose official name is the “College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin” – is itself quite historic, having been founded in 1592.)

Some classic examples of Guinness advertising, on display in the Guinness Storehouse.

The 2 sections of the Book of Kells that were in rotation in the exhibition at the time of my visit are visible towards the top of this image. I had to snap this photo really quickly because no photography was allowed. πŸ™‚

Strolling along the River Liffey as dusk approaches. The green-domed building across the river is the Custom House, completed in 1791.

Karaoke in Ireland: Dublin was the “One”

In Ireland, as in Italy and Czechia before it, the third time was the charm. My chosen venue in Dublin was The Workman’s Club. Karaoke there didn’t even start until about midnight, but I didn’t care because I was finally going to sing on Irish soil! Irish eyes were smiling upon me.

For my song selection, I felt like I had no choice but to go with something by Irish supergroup U2. I opted for “One.” That tune was originally released as a track on the 1991 album Achtung Baby, and its lyrics were partially inspired by the then-recent German reunification. Here’s my performance of it in Dublin:



And that is how, on February 18, 2018, Ireland became the 55th country on my World Karaoke Tour. My persistence had been rewarded. However, I’d like to spend some more time in Ireland; all 3 of my visits to that lovely nation have been solely to Dublin, and there’s so much more of the Emerald Isle for me to see!

A new addition to my bucket list

In the meantime, let’s talk about all the other countries that I’ve entered and exited without singing in them – countries whose omissions from my World Karaoke Tour I haven’t yet rectified. I could legitimately do a round-the-world trip that solely consisted of a “second chance” tour of those countries. They are: Vatican City State, commonly called Vatican City (previous visits in 1993, 2004, and 2015); South Africa (previous visit in 2011); Cambodia (previous visit in 2015); the Palestinian Territories (previous visit in 2016); Jordan (previous visit in 2016-17); Paraguay (previous visit in 2018); San Marino (previous visit in 2018); Liechtenstein (previous visit in 2018); and the Federated States of Micronesia (previous visit in 2019). It should be noted that Vatican City and the Palestinian Territories aren’t members of the United Nations, but both states hold Permanent Observer status at the UN.

Nevertheless, perhaps it’s a little unfair to include Vatican City on this list. After all, one should hardly expect to find many entertainment options in that minuscule 110-acre enclave that’s ruled by the pope (although it would be tempting to bring my own equipment and sing “Losing My Religion” in St. Peter’s Square πŸ™‚ ). By the way, did you know that although Vatican City is an absolute monarchy, it has a legislative body? That entity is called the Pontifical Commission. But I digress, as I so often do. Anyway, it’s troubling that so many of the missed opportunities noted in the preceding paragraph have occurred within the last couple of years. Now, as I mentioned in my last post, my foremost karaoke-related goal is to sing in Antarctica. But as of the publication of this post, I’m officially adding the Second Chance Tour to my bucket list! With or without Vatican City, it would include four continents plus Oceania. It would be epic!

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The Long Room in Trinity College’s Old Library, over 200 feet in length, houses some 200,000 books. It was built between 1712 and 1732.

Have you ever achieved a goal that you didn’t succeed in on your first attempt?

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