There’s something about St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve been told there a wee bit of Irish in my ancestry. As St. Patrick’s Day nears I have a suspicion that a great many people suddenly develop ancestral ties to the land of the Blarney Stone.

It’s on my bucket list – to visit the Emerald Isle and plant a big wet one on the above mentioned stone. Though I’ve tried Guinness and can’t really say that it is my favourite beverage, a visit to the factory will also take place.

Little Kitten, Kiss Me I’m Irish, Happy St. Patrick’s Day by ShallAdore Cats YouTube

The malarkey that happens on St Patrick’s Day is quite astounding. My son rang me this morning to fill me in on his adventures in pursuit of a good St. Patrick’s Day time. I may have to talk to him before next year and ask him politely to keep his adventures to himself.

St. Patrick's Day 2011
St. Patrick’s Day 2011 Auckland, New Zealand. We Kiwis know how to have a good time – including my lad !!

Why do we make so much of an Irish saint?

There are a lot of saints out there, but St. Patrick has crossed oceans and cultures to be celebrated all over the world.

He’s done well for himself.

How many saints can brag that the world goes silly one day of the year for them? He’s got them wearing green from head to toe. They even colour their drinks green. If they realised what it is going to look like when they are bent over the toilet bowl later they might have rethought that.

So.

Who was St. Patrick?

Well he wasn’t exactly Irish. Born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in 387, he led an unusual life. At sixteen he was captured and for the next six years tended his master’s flocks near Ballymena. There he learnt the Celtic language which he would use later as an apostolate.

Escaping, he spent years rising through the priesthood. But Ireland was never far from his thoughts. It is believed that from 433 he set about turning Ireland away from its Druid roots toward the teachings of Christ until he died in 493.

Two letters survive from him which chronicle his life.

St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is akin to Easter and Christmas with its religious connotations. This year over 500,000 gathered in Dublin for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The dispersion of Irish immigrants has seen the day celebrated worldwide. In 2o11 St. Patrick’s Day parades were held in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Austria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Dubai, Monserrat, Turkey, China, and many more nations.

The following are just some of the words you’re likely to hear in any Irish pub anywhere, on the day…

Unicorn

A long time ago when the Earth was green,
There was more kinds of animals then you’ve ever seen.
And they’d run around free while the world was being born.
The loveliest of all was the Unicorn!
There was green alligators and long necked geese,
Hump back camels and chimpanzees.
Cats and rats and elephants but sure a you’re born,
The loveliest of all was the Unicorn!
But the Lord seen some sinnin’ and it caused him pain.
He says, “Stand back, I’m gonna make it rain.
So hey, Brother Noah, I’ll tell you what to do.
Go and build me a floating zoo.”
“You’ll take two alligators and a couple of geese,
Two hump back camels and two chimpanzees.
Two cats, two rats, two elephants but as sure as you’re born,
Noah, don’t you forget my unicorns!”
Well, Noah looked out through the drivin’ rain,
But the unicorns was hidin’-playin’ silly games.
They were kickin’ and a-splashin’ while the rain was pourin’,
Oh them foolish unicorns.
“So you take two alligators and a couple of geese,
Two hump back camels and two chimpanzees.
Two cats, two rats, two elephants but as sure as you’re born,
Noah, don’t you forget my unicorns.”
And the the ark started movin’ and it drifted with the tide,
And the unicorns looked up from the rock and cried.
And the water came up and sort of floated them away,
That’s why you’ve never seen a unicorn to this day.
You’ll see a lot of alligators and a whole mess of geese,
You’ll see hump back camels and chimpanzees.
You’ll see cats and rats and elephants but as sure as you’re born,
You’re never gonna see no unicorn.

**********

Danny

Oh Danny boy, the pipes the pipes are calling,
From glen to glen and on the mountainside.
The summer’s gone and all the leaves are falling,
‘Tis you must go, ’tis you must go and I must bide !
But come you back, when summer’s in the meadow,
Or when the valley’s hush and white with snow !
Then I’ll be there in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy, I love you so !
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You’ll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.
And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you’ll not fail to tell me that you love me
I simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy, I love you so!

Sung loudly and with gusto.

St Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration of ALL that is Irish.

The leprechauns and the shamrock remind us of what is fun and quirky about the Irish. it reminds us of the LUCK of the Irish.

Maybe that’s why we all seek a little Irish blood in the family tree on the 17th of March…

shamrock

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2 thoughts on “There’s something about St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. Thanks ma’am – after talking to my lad, my curiosity was piqued about St. Patrick and all the hoo-ha surrounding it. He will probably kill me when he see the photo of him on it though !!! 🙂

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