As part of Culture Night 2015, Scully's bar was turned into a Rambling House, on Friday the 18th of September. Our Fear an tí and Bean an tí ()'Man of the house' and 'woman of the house') ran the proceedings introducing a selection of Set dancers, Brush dancers, Singers of all ages and styles, Recitations and Poetry, along with a generous sprinkling of Sliabh Luachra music that forms part of every event in Scully's bar.
Before the advent of Radio,T.V.and print media the Rambling House was an important and widespread feature of country life. The Rambling House was a private dwelling where members of small communities met to socialize, to entertain one another and to be entertained. Attendance at such gatherings was often described as 'roving'.
The Rambling House would be owned by people who liked to meet up with their neighbours and friends and who enjoyed music,dancing, storytelling and singing. The seanchaí,who might be a member of the family or a neighbour who had the gift of storytelling played a central role in the proceedings. His repetoir included traditional tales as well as compositions of his own making. Music ,of course, played a huge part as well as the dancing that accompanied it and as a result rambling houses with a large kitchen area were very popular. Good singers were particularly welcome and there was keen competion between them. The songs often commemorated local events and heroes together with popular songs from other areas.
Local news and gossip was exchanged while crops and the prices that were secured for them and for animals at local fairs and markets were a great source of interest. The weather , past, present and future was much discussed . And geneology, or 'tracing' people's relations was also important. Travelers and journey men ofall kinds brought information about far away places while travelling musicians and singers introduced new tunes and songs. The spirit of the Rambling house was a spirit of neighbourliness, friendship and enjoyment – Long may it survive!
(Photograph Courtesy of Eileen O'Connor Photography)