Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
This year, we just want to share some Irish-inspired tips and suggestions, without much pomp and circumstance.
“May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold—and at the end of your rainbows may you find a pot of gold.”An Irish Blessing
Do note that the blessing is wise in that it hopes one finds a pot of gold, not a pot of fiat currency!
Here’s another Irish saying/quote/proverb, just for fun:
Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!
Saint Patrick was not of Irish decent; rather, he was a bishop and patron saint of Ireland. Moreover, he defended the Irish people from the genocide and oppression perpetrated by British military occupation.
We recommend your reading “A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus” written by Saint Patrick to the Bishops of Britain.
The letter begins:
I declare that I, Patrick,—an unlearned sinner indeed—have been established a bishop in Ireland.
Saint Patrick continues by dropping quotes from the bible:
“And Scripture also says: ‘Woe to those who fill themselves with what does not belong to them.’1Habakkuk 2:6: Woe to one who amasses goods not belonging to him. And: ‘What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and yet suffer the loss of his or her soul?’2Matthew 16:26: What will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life?
You may read the entire letter, with footnotes, over at The Imaginative Conservative.
A couple of weeks ago IrishCentral shared its recommendation of twenty classic Irish books.
To pick just one from that list is challenging. We are tempted to recommend the Gothic horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker (yes, he’s Irish – born and bred in Dublin), but Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday, so there’s a more appropriate choice: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (b. Belfast, Ireland).
Given the ongoing geopolitical stresses and fighting in places such as Yemen, Palestine, and Ukriane, the song “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” covered by The Pogues3 Originally named “Pogue Mahone” – the Anglicization of the Irish Gaelic póg mo thóin, meaning “kiss my arse”. is appropriate, even though the song (music video here) is about Australian soldiers, as Lyrics Genius describes:
“The song describes war as futile and gruesome, while criticising those who seek to glorify it. This is exemplified in the song by the account of a young Australian soldier who is maimed at the Battle of Gallipoli during the First World War.”
Now when I was a young man I carried me pack, and I lived the free life of a rover From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback, well, I waltzed my Matilda all over Then in 1915, my country said son, it's time you stopped rambling, there's work to be done So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun, and they marched me away to the war And the band played Waltzing Matilda, as the ship pulled away from the Quay And amidst all the cheers, the flag-waving and tears, we sailed off for Gallipoli And how well I remember that terrible day, how our blood stained the sand and the water And of how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay, we were butchered like lambs at the slaughter Johnny Turk he was waiting, he'd primed himself well, he showered us with bullets And he rained us with shell, and in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all straight to hell Nearly blew us right back to Australia But the band played Waltzing Matilda, when we stopped to bury our slain We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs, then we started all over again And those that were left, well we tried to survive, in that mad world of blood, death and fire And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive, though around me the corpses piled higher Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head, and when I woke up in my hospital bed And saw what it had done, well I wished I was dead: never knew there was worse things than dyin' For I'll go no more waltzing Matilda, all around the green bush far and free To hang tent and pegs, a man needs both legs-no more waltzing Matilda for me So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed, and they shipped us back home to Australia The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane, those proud wounded heroes of Suvla And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay, I looked at the place where me legs used to be And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me, to grieve, to mourn, and to pity But the band played Waltzing Matilda, as they carried us down the gangway But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared, then they turned all their faces away And so now every April, I sit on me porch, and I watch the parades pass before me And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march, reviving old dreams of past glories And the old men march slowly, old bones stiff and sore, the forgotten heroes of a forgotten war And the young people ask, what are they marching for? ...and I ask myself the same question But the band plays Waltzing Matilda, and the old men still answer the call But as year follows year, more old men disappear, someday no one will march there at all "Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me? And their ghosts may be heard as they march by that billabong, who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"
Also, just a few weeks ago, Kelly O’Sullivan over at The Pioneer Woman published the article, “40 Best Irish Movies to Watch on St. Patrick’s Day This Year.” Number 32 is absolutely hilarious and highly recommended: Intermission.
Now you. What are your favorite Irish-inspired tips and suggestions for Saint Patrick’s Day?
Let us know in the comments.
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