My travel partner and friend J is in the military and is moving along to his next post in a couple of weeks. Awhile ago, I had asked him if there was anything he wanted to do in Maryland before leaving. At the moment, he couldn't come up with anything, so I suggested going to my favorite bar, the Galway Bay Irish Pub, which happens to be in the state capital of Annapolis. He's a beer connoisseur and I adore the ambiance there, so I thought it would be fun. We could have a farewell drink there.
About a week before our Boston trip, he asked if I wanted if I wanted to go on the Wednesday following our return from the trip. Sure! If we go out, it seems to be more often on that particular day of the week than not, so that's nothing out of the ordinary.
It took me awhile to pick him up in the next town over from mine and then drive us to Annapolis. He mentioned that he was hungry on the way, so when we arrived at dinnertime, I simply walked right up to the hostess and asked to be seated in the dining room. I've only been to the bar a few times, never to the dining room. The hostess seated us in the corner. We enjoyed beer and traditional Irish fare (including a possibly not so traditional yet delicious corned beef poppers appetizer!). He had asked me for the time like three times over the course of the evening, but he's one always with questions, so I didn't think anything of that either. It was a weekday night. Plus, it took us a pretty long time to drive as I prefer a route without interstates.
During dinner, I informed J that one of the other diners out of his line of sight had an accordion. He simply shrugged in reply. All of a sudden, at 8 o'clock on the dot, a guy stood up and said they were going to start singing chanteys or Irish nautical songs! One by one, a single guy sang out lyrics and the rest of them, about seven other gentlemen, sang along at the chorus. They pretty much sang a cappella, only to their own beat on the table or possibly to that aforementioned accordion. In the corner, we were surrounded by these eight guys scattered around a half a dozen tables. I loved it! I had wanted to go see traditional Irish music in Boston, but we happened to catch an underwhelming happy hour show where we found ourselves more talking amongst ourselves than listening to the more instrumental music. Anyway, we were even invited to sing ourselves, or be serenaded.
A bit into the performances, I turned to J and stated "I did not plan this!" To my disbelief, he replied that he actually had! It took me a bit to believe him. I simply adore surprises. We enjoyed just over a half hour of music and then left. Walking out of the restaurant on one of the equally quaint Annapolis streets, J explained that about a week after I mentioned this place, a friend told him he was out to dinner and all of a sudden, people started singing and it was awesome! J then researched it online and found that this group meets at this particular pub on select Wednesday nights. This group seems to be called the Ship Company's Chanteymen. You can read more about "this jolly band of merrymakers" and view their schedule here.
If you happen to live in anywhere near Annapolis, I highly recommend you go! And better yet, surprise someone with the chantey singing!
And thank you J!