In a bitter cold winter night, a UK-based Irish band, consisting of brothers Jamie and Edward Connors and Rob Ryan, was travelling by van back from gigging in Ireland. After getting off an Ireland-UK ferry, the atmosphere was merry, although their journey did come to a brief halt when police stopped them for checking. All was good except the little fact of the policeman suddenly noting that “the nearest petrol pump is another twenty miles”, nodding at the same time at the van’s fuel indicator, which displayed suspiciously low levels. Well, as with ever-optimistic Irish nature, the musicians carried on their drive, hoping to make another twenty miles.
And they surely did – only to find the old petrol station sadly closed. With winter temperatures below -9°C, the night befalling them, without a fuel, and not a soul around, the Saoirse Irish Band, as it’s called, was preparing for the worst – spending the night in their van. Suddenly another van pulled up by the station and a chap jumped out, only to ask directions to Dover. Turned out that he was an Estonian, on his way back to his country. The Irishmen hadn’t heard much about Estonia before, but in this cold winter night the lonely Estonian man was their blessing. After the band members explained that they were stuck without a fuel, the Estonian took out a little hose from his van, and using an old method – sucking the fuel out from the tank through the hose – provided the Irishmen with enough diesel for them to carry on their journey! And so it happened that the Saoirse Irish Band was helped back on road again and in gratitude, a jolly Irish song about the “Estonian diesel man” was born. These taciturn Estonians are helpful after all!
Cover photo is illustrative.