I was having a lazy morning finishing my book when music drifted in through the window and tickled my ear. At first I thought it was my neighbours listening to very loud music, but the more I heard the more I realized that this couldn’t be, after all my neighbours don’t really listen to ballads or pop, they listen to the techno beat variety.
As I sat back and listened, straining to hear what it was and were it was coming from I suddenly knew: Croke Park, the big stadium just up the road from where I live and the home of the GAA. For over a hundred years Croke Park has been at the center of Irish sports, now it is also the go-to arena for big music events, after all it is the fourth largest stadium in Europe. It’s also the place where the first Irish Bloody Sunday took place, when in 1920 innocent Gaelic football fans were gunned down spilling blood onto the playing field. An important historical event that U2 refers to in their song “Bloody Sunday” which is about the second shedding of innocent blood on a Sunday in Derry in 1972.
So with the where locked down now all I had to find out was the what or who. Suddenly “Poet’s Heart” floated on the air and I knew it had to be Westlife. Now, I am not a Westlife fan but living in Dublin there is no real escaping them and their music does seem to strike several cords with many. So as I sat and read the last few pages of my book I enjoyed the far away concert, as if it was my own personal little serenade.
I know that this was only the sound check so I am expecting more of the same just louder and with a roar of fans this evening. But as I also know that Germany is playing Greece tonight and a group of people are gathering in a neighbours home to watch and cheer on the German team. So I am expecting an interesting mix of Irish song and German cheers (or groans) to be on the air tonight, a perfect mash-up of sport and lyrics, a tribute to the historical stadium that Croke Park is.