When you study Ireland's history, they'll tell you about vicious and murderous happenings in early times, the devastating Irish famine of the mid-19th century, inhuman repression schemes in the 18th and 19th centuries, or about the recent financial scandals. With all these misfortunes, we'd expect the Irish to be a sad and downtrodden people.
Irish music completes and balances the story. While the suffering was real enough -- and some Irish music does reflect that -- there are also many happy and lively tunes that speak of the tremendous fervor, the human joy and the resilience of this island folk. They invite us all to a sing-along, to join in complex and seductive dances, or to just get an extra beer as we take in the good cheer.
Here is a happy traditional Irish tune I ran across recently. I put in a bass accompaniment.