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One of those late Sunday nights, beginning with a three-piece band, on guitar, drum, and fiddle. After the music ends, the cast and crew for the latest local play celebrate with sandwiches, cocktail sausages, and sticky chocolate cake; the youngest actor shows the oldest one how to twerk. Long-tressed young wans giggle and roar, giddy on jagerbombs. There are some casualties: fallen beermats, scattered cigarillos, trampled crisps. Even ancient Johnny, mute and toothless, falls asleep at the bar. Two bucks fresh from lambing beg for one more drink, neck vodka and red bulls, inquire on my views on Ireland. The night ends as its begins: with a song, this time an emigrant's melancholy ballad for his home, summoning the stars that shine above once-familiar shores.


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