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The craic is an essentially Irish form of enjoyment. It embraces friendliness and hospitality, good conversation, music, dancing, the lively telling of jokes and stories, and the recitation of poetry. Above all, it is about people coming together.

The National Museum recorded The Craic Live at The Quiet Man at an Irish pub in Melbourne for the exhibition Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia.

Jimeoin on The Craic 2:11

Jimeoin joins a group of talented musicians for a session recorded live at The Quiet Man Irish pub

Experience The Craic on YouTube

Click on the links below to visit the Museum’s YouTube channel, where you’ll hear talented musicians playing, and talking with comedian Jimeoin about their instruments and the influence of Irish music in Australia.

The Fitzgerald brothers on the accordion 1:20

Listen to Miss McLeod’s reel as led by brothers Joe and Paddy Fitzgerald, who’ve been playing the box for 60 years

Irish flute and dance 1:23

Jimeoin chats with musicians Ben Stephenson and Michael Moran

Irish dancers 2:36

A group of young dancers brought together by Geraldine Ryan joins in The Craic

Ben Stephenson plays Sally Sloane 2:35

Ben plays a flute piece by legendary folk musician Sally Sloane, discovered in his research on the history of Irish music at the National Library of Australia

Dale Gerner on Billy Moran and the box 1:33

‘We’d sit down, have a cup of tea, have a yarn and just play some tunes together’

The oral tradition of Irish music 2:43

Nicki Kramer puts the groove into fiddling and explains how Irish music is learned through listening

Soft to hard toe shuffle 5:42

Spot the hot shoe shuffle as this group of young Irish dancers swap from soft to hard toes

How to play spoons with Mark Wilson 3:23

’Well, it’s very easy, you just hold ’em between two fingers and go rat-a-tee-tat,’ chancer Mark Wilson jams with Jimeoin, and John Blaney on the tin whistle

Ned of the Hill on Irish uillean pipes 4:53

Martin Doherty plays the uillean pipes and explains how they differ to the Scottish bagpipes

How to play the bodhrán 2:20

Aidan McDonnell explains the finer points of playing the traditional Irish drum

Irish dance and drum 1:34

Ben Stephenson on bodhrán joins Dale Gerner as she dances up a storm

Poor Ned Kelly 3:38

Former Bushwacker Mick Slocum takes the microphone

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