The Irish Rover - Shawn Loughlin editorial
Last week was St. Patrick’s Day, as you all know. Being half-Irish and not minding a drink here and there, I’ve always embraced the holiday as my own.
Over the years, I’ve always gone out of my way to do something on the most sacred of days to the Irish. I’ve spent it in Boston, one of the most Irish cities in the world outside of Ireland, seeing the Dropkick Murphys; Toronto, of course, and here in Huron County. Never in Ireland, unfortunately, but perhaps one day. Last year, we even partook in a virtual Flogging Molly concert live from Dublin and my daughter Tallulah loved it.
So, in the middle of a long work week, I got home ahead of Jess and Tallulah, so I put on some Irish music (The Pogues, for anyone wondering) to greet them when they arrived.
It was not well received.
Just a minute or two into “Dirty Old Town”, Tallulah bobbled into the house and, after she shed her jacket, hat and shoes, she asked, more or less, what exactly in the hell was the sound coming from the television?
Readers will remember that Cash Cab is her favourite television show, though she did take a shine to figure skating during the Olympics. But, whenever that taxi cab isn’t cruising the streets of Toronto (or Vancouver), Spotify is playing music. But not just any music - that staple of every household in 2022, especially houses full of children. That’s right. You guessed it! Otis Redding.
My daughter will only listen to Otis Redding. Even when one of his albums ends and Spotify starts playing music very similar to Redding, like Irma Thomas, Al Green, The Four Tops, etc., she knows and she tells me to get the television back to doing what it does best - playing Otis Redding’s music.
If memory serves, we first started playing Redding for her when we’d play “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” for her during bath time and I guess it just grew from there. It was the only music she wanted to listen to and it evolved into her meal-time music (though she still listens to it during her baths, even though she’s since transitioned to the big bath tub).
Now, she loves it. She has her favourite songs and she’ll dance to the faster numbers, starting to boogie a second or two before the song actually starts (yes, she knows the song sequence at this point).
Jess and I count ourselves lucky that it’s Otis Redding with whom Tallulah has fallen in love. It could be something much, much worse and it’s music that Jess and I would listen to on our own before Tallulah was born. I grew up listening to Motown and soul music, so I’d listen to Redding all day every day if I had to. However, I do like to mix in some of the other folks from that era, but Tallulah just hasn’t grasped onto Aretha Franklin or Mavis Staples or Gladys Knight and the Pips like she has with Redding.
Just like I wrote about Cash Cab, we’re likely pretty lucky right now. Soon enough, it’ll be Disney songs (or, more likely, the same Disney song over and over and over again) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so I suppose we should cherish this time.
So, for this St. Patrick’s Day, in the Loughlin home, it was Otis Redding to get everyone in that merry, Irish mood celebrated the world over. One day, Tallulah will likely move on, listening to whomever is popular at the moment. I’ll become the dad who has no idea about the musicians my daughter’s talking about and likely complain that the music is too loud, but for now, we can all agree on Otis Redding.