It’s safe to say romantic Ireland is dead and gone and certainly replaced with the classic “shift and drift phase”. What and who do we blame? Is it our generation? Tinder? Or maybe it’s the lack of romance in our Irish culture. The mystery has yet to be solved for all the fabulous singletons out there that patiently await the person of their dreams.
Back in the good old days
First of all, lets take a trip down good old memory lane. The local disco at the weekend was the place to be. Both men and women would stick on their best Sunday best, hop on their bikes and hit the local community hall with hope they would meet “the one”. It’s quite bizarre really – unlike today’s generation, everyone stayed local. You couldn’t exactly fall in love with the dreamy stranger from the city. Instead you had to settle for your cousins, best friend’s brother that lived four houses down the road.
After speaking to quite a few people from the “disco era”, they all agreed the slow set was the highlight of the event. The slow set being three or four songs that were played at different stages throughout the night.
Paul Brady (56) a Westmeath bachelor explained: “When the slow set started, the hall would part like the great sea. It would be lassies on one side, with eager lads on the other. For the brave gentleman that went over to ask the girl they fancied to dance, if she accepted, let’s just say he would be delighted. If she stayed for the second dance, it would be a bonus and if she stayed for the full set – well then he was in for the golden chance of the “shift”.
The last slow set played right before the night ended. Mr. Brady lastly commented: “If you weren’t dancing at this stage, you were sadly going home alone”.
Saturday night fever?
As your grandmother would say “Jaysus how times have changed”. From the Bee Gee’s to head wrecking techno music, the music may have a lot to do with finding “the one”. It’s very rare you would see a couple slow dancing to Maniac 2000. As a matter of fact, there is never anybody slow dancing at the discos nowadays. Instead the dancing is replaced with fist pumping, head banging and any drunken dance move that comes to mind. Although it might seem “cool” on the night, take note: twerking is not marriage material.
Besides Ed Sheeran’s charming lyrics and Little Mix’s shout out to their ex’s, more classic love ballads need to be played. Moreover, its a demand that needs to be acknowledged by all DJ’s around the country. It certainly would get more single men and ladies into the groove and onto the glittering dance floor.
‘Irelands Own’ Vs Tinder
If you’re still looking for romance the next day after your big night on the town, the traditional Irish publication ‘Irelands Own’ is your go to. Instead of endless swiping and uploading of pictures, finding love on ‘Irelands Own’ was the crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. Luckily, the hidden gem is still available.
Seriously, who knew you could find the perfect farmer or housewife in your local magazine? Forget about the overrated app of Tinder and search the local newspapers. Or perhaps if you’re really longing to get hitched, head down to Ireland’s famous matchmaking fair in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. Experience the fair as a break away from the overpriced disco.
The modern day Romeo & Juliet
If you have been to Coppers on a Thursday night you will get the jist. Hundreds of single women (that previously had taken approximately fifty or more pictures of their outfit) , lads in jerseys, spilt drink, dodgy chat up lines and cheesy music. Again, in comparison with the “disco era”, instead of the golden shift at the end of the night, you’re most likely guaranteed a garlic cheese chip.
Claire Johnson (23) summed up the typical modern day romance in Ireland: “Let’s just say I’m a single 23 year old student, currently studying in DCU and still haven’t met prince charming”. Ms. Johnson agreed the slow set should be reintroduced on nights out. It would a perfect way for people to meet instead of “Can I buy you a drink love?” “Are you on Instagram?” or “Shift me, I play county”.
By the end of the interview, Ms. Johnson sadly commented: “To be honest, I don’t’ even know the meaning of romance in our modern society. My parents always talk about how they met back in the day at the local and I always wonder when my romance will begin”.
Just like everything in this big bad world, society is changing. Sometimes it can be for the best, and sometimes for the worse. As discos have remained a large part of our social lives, people need to realise its true essence. Live in the moment, fulfill your enjoyment under the disco ball and remember to keep the romance alive.