Mar 16

Does God look down on the boys in the barroom?

*

Once again, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is upon us. This year, I will share a few bits of Irish wisdom and charm. Perhaps it is good to begin with a prayer. The following is a common blessing that is frequently offered to friends or family as they depart on a long journey.

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sunshine warm upon your face, the rain fall softly upon your fields

And until we meet again, May the good Lord hold you in the palm of his hand.

***

Ireland is a small island country that has experienced massive emigration away from her rocky shores. You may read about the Irish diaspora here.

As an ethnic group, the Irish have long been identified with excessive drinking. Perhaps this is the reason why Ireland has produced so many poets. You can read about 5 of Ireland’s most well known poets here. An old Irish saying goes like this; Choose your friends before you choose your drink. Sage advice to be sure!

Robert Hunter (an American) is an old soul and life-long friend of the late Jerry Garcia. Together they wrote many of the more well known tunes that the Grateful Dead played for years. Hunter also wrote a stirring ode called, Boys in the Barroom. It could have been written by someone from the old Emerald Ilse. This is sort of a prayer or chant for those who frequent establishments that serve the drink. Inherent in the lyrics is a recognition that there is a higher authority than man and a simultaneous resignation to the innate flaws of man, particularly those who indulge in drink. Conversely, it speaks boldly of the pastime of drinking as if to say, we are what we are, dammit! Just deliver us, Lord!

*

Boys in the Barroom

Does God look down on the boys in the barroom?
Mainly forsaken but surely not judged
Jacks, Kings and Aces, their faces in wine
Do Lord deliver our kind?

From singin’ for whiskey, three strings on a fiddle
Four on the guitar and a song that I love
Many’s the night we spent pickin’ and singin’
In hopes it be pleasing both here and above

Jack string fiddle to my saw tooth bow
Who loves loneliness, loves it alone
I love the dim lights like some love the dew
The only thing I wonder sometimes

Is does God look down on the boys in the barroom?
Mainly forsaken but surely not judged
Jacks, Kings and Aces, their faces in wine
Do Lord deliver our kind?

***

A link to a list of quaint little Irish idioms and other interesting vernacular.

and finally in closing, I wish you all a fine and Happy St. Pat’s! Cheers.

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/god-look-boys-barroom/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.