On Grafton Street …..

I was in Dublin yesterday.  I had a few hours to kill and parked the car in Trinity Street Car Park.  A quick text to a friend led to a short but welcome lunch.  After that I wandered around for a while with absolutely no “agenda”!  I spent an hour or more on Grafton Street and bought nothing – well an ice cream – so helped the economy in a very small way 🙂  I was reminded of Nanci Griffith’s song “On Grafton Street” and imagined her, as a visitor to Dublin, finding some space there on what is a very crowded street.  Yet she did find space ….

Nanci speaks of “buskers” in her song and there certainly was a fair share of them yesterday.  Such talent on an open street.  There was a very lively group called “Key West” or maybe “Quay West” – not sure which way they spell it – absolutely excellent.  I recorded a piece of one of their songs but won’t post it since it would not do them justice.  If you’re passing and they’re playing, stop a while.  Around another corner there was a woman sitting on a window sill and a man on the footpath.  One had a fiddle and the other a guitar and they were playing “The Foggy Dew” – pure class.  I think I was the only one standing there and they played as if they were playing to a packed house in the O2 Stadium.  What is it that allows people get lost in a tune?  Whatever it is, long may it remain.  Along the street there was a variety of musicians and musical styles.  Little groups stood a while and listened to each, respecting the talent offered and maybe throwing an odd coin into a waiting guitar case.  (No, the ice cream was my only outlay yesterday.  I’m blushing a little now with that realisation!)  A man had a dog lying on the pavement, looking at a tennis ball.  The dog, the towel he lay upon, the ball were all made out of sand …… Somehow rushing feet left this untouched, even one that was un-attended.  Respect for an art form – proper order too!

I think the buskers/street entertainers that most caught my eye, never said a word. It was a sculpture in stone, of sorts, featuring five people, three standing and two sitting.  One held a guitar.  It was the hottest day of the year and the sculpture stood calm, solid but engagingly welcoming on “Grafton Street”.  I stood and watched.  An Australian woman said to me, “Do you see what happens when you put in a coin?”  “No”, I replied,  She rushed forward, leaving her group of fellow-visitors, to put a coin in the bucket but I said “No, you’ve done that already, I’ll do it” (Ah, I did spend something more than on an ice cream – my blush fades a little now) so I put in – well that doesn’t matter – and the sculpture bowed in appreciation.

A moment on Grafton Street – May 25th, 2012

I have to say I enjoyed the bit of time yesterday.  I went to the Carmelite Church too and was amazed to see so many people there, in the middle of a sunny day, just sitting quietly and praying before the Blessed Sacrament.  I thought of the “sculpture” down the street and felt certain that Jesus too would acknowledge the recognition and bow, even a little, to those approaching him in prayer.


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