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Mar 17

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March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day

Corned Beef and Cabbage (aka New England Boiled Dinner) is a standard fare on this day.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage with a strong brew.

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Who was St. Patrick? Follow the link and learn. He is celebrated as the patron saint of Ireland. Celebrated religiously within Ireland and in a secular and usually drunken manner in America. Roughly 12 percent of Americans can trace their ancestral lineage to Ireland. I am among them.

My paternal Grandmother came to America at the tender age of 16. She never received more than a 6th grade education, but she could complete the N.Y. Times crossword puzzle every Sunday after church. The conditions under which she came to this land were that she would be a nanny to a family. In exchange for her labor, she was promised room and board and an education. As it turned out, she had been deceived. Instead what she found was that she would work as an indentured servant (nice phrase for slave) a caregiver for an elderly invalid. She never received the education she had been promised, but for the learning she undertook of her own volition. Such is the life of many a poor immigrant. Her hardship not withstanding, she married an American of Irish heritage, Owen Neary of Rhode Island. He worked as a lineman for the New England Electric Company. I am told that he was at one time a champion boxer in the Merchant Marine. At some point in his duties as a lineman, he fell from a pole and broke his back. He never fully recovered and then, took to the drink which ultimately was his undoing. He died and left my Father’s mother with 4 children. This, of course, was long before the welfare state. Not that she would have ever taken any form of charity or government subsidy. She spent her days and nights working 3 jobs to support her children and all of them subsequently learned the value of pulling your self up out of the depths of poverty. Pride, self reliance and dignity are among the character attributes of the Irish.

The rest of my ancestors also emigrated from Ireland but I know little about them.

Descendents of the ancient Celtic tribes, the Irish were known to be powerful fighters and inherently close knit. Their history is fascinating and diverse.

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Some jokes and riddles:

God created the Irish for to take over the world. Man created whiskey so they could not!

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What is a mile long, all green and has a thousand assholes?

Answer: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

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O’brian twins

3 MEN ARE SITTING AT A BAR IN NEW YORK.
THE FIRST SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, ‘SO WHERE MIGHT YOU BE FROM THEN?
THE SECOND SAYS ‘I’M FROM IRELAND MYSELF’
THE FIRST SAYS ‘I’M IRISH TOO, WHERE ABOUTS MAY YOU BE FROM?
‘CORK CITY IS MY HOME QUOTH THE SECOND.
‘WELL SO AM I. ‘ SAYS THE FIRST ‘AND WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
ST. MARY’S’.
WHAT A COINCIDENCE, SAYS NO. 2 ‘WHAT YEAR DID YOU FINNISH?
‘ ’84’
‘THAT’S MY YEAR! WE MUST HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME CLASS!
THE THIRD MAN AT THE BAR TURNS TO THE BARMAN AND SAYS, ‘HAVE EVER SEEN
ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE?
THE BARMAN SAYS, ‘OH, DON’T TAKE ANY NOTICE OF THE O’BRIAN TWINS,
THEY’RE DRUNK AGAIN.’

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Some traditional tunes:

Carrickfergus

I wish I was in Carrickfergus,
Only for nights in Ballygrant
I would swim over the deepest ocean,
For my love to find
But the sea is wide and I cannot cross over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I could meet a handsome boatsman
To ferry me over, to my love and die

My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy times I spent so long ago,
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all passed on now like melting snow.
But I’ll spend my days in endless roaming,
Soft is the grass, my bed is free.
Ah, to be back now in Carrickfergus,
On that long road down to the sea.

But in Kilkenny, it is reported,
On marble stones there as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her,
But I’ll sing no more ’till I get a drink.
For I’m drunk today, and I’m seldom sober,
A handsome rover from town to town,
Ah, but I’m sick now, my days are numbered,
Come all you young men and lay me down.

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Irish Heartbeat lyrics are touching and speak to the ties of family, clan and tribe.

Songwriters: VAN MORRISON
Oh wont you stay
Stay a while with your own ones
Dont ever stray
Stray so far from your own ones
cause the world is so cold
Dont care nothing for your soul
That you share with your own ones
Dont rush away
Rush away from your own ones
Just one more day
One more day with your own ones
cause the world is so cold
Dont care nothing bout your soul
That you share with your own ones
Theres a stranger
And hes standing at your door
Might be your best friend, might be your brother
You may never know
Im going back
Going back to my own ones
Come back to talk
Talk a while with my own ones
cause the world is so cold
Dont care nothing bout your soul
You share with your own onesOh wont you stay
One more day with your own ones
Dont rush away
Rush away from your own ones
This old world is so cold,
Dont care nothing for your soul
You share with your own ones
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Of all the money that e’er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm that e’er I’ve done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To mem’ry now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all.
Of all the comrades that e’er I had,
They are sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had,
They would wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all.
A man may drink and not be drunk,
A man may fight and not be slain,
A man may court a pretty girl,
And perhaps be welcome back again.
But since it has so ought to be,
By a time to rise and a time to fall,
Come fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.
Good night and joy be with you all.

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Finnegan’s Wake is a novel by James Joyce. Joseph Campbell wrote a book titled, The Skelton’s Key to Finnegan’s Wake in which he deciphers the tale that was actually based on an old Vaudeville skit about an Irishman,, Tim Finn who is know for his tendency to imbibe and one day, falls off a ladder and dies. The Irish were known for day-long wakes that entailed much drinking and wailing.
The story is told through the lyrics:
Tim Finnegan lived in watling street
A gentle Irishman, mighty odd
He’d a beautiful brogue so rich and sweet
To rise in the world, he carried a hod
See, he’d sort of a tipplin’ way
With love for the liquor poor Tim was born
To help him a man with his work each day
He’d a drop of the craythin’ every morn’
Whack fol, de, dah
Now, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, your trotters shake
Wasn’t it the truth, they told ye lots of fun At Finnegan’s wake
One morning Tim got rather full
His head felt heavy which made him shake
Fell from a ladder and he broke his skull
They carried him home, his corpse to wake
Rolled him up in a nice clean sheet
And laid him out upon the bed
A gallon of whiskey at his feet
And a bottle of porter at his head
Whack fol, de, dah
Now, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, your trotters shake
Wasn’t it the truth, they told ye lots of fun At Finnegan’s wake
His friends assembled at the wake
And misses Finnegan called for lunch
First she brought in tea and cake
Then pipes, tobacco and whiskey punch
Biddy O’Brien began to cry
Such a nice clean corpse, did you ever see?
Tim me, boy, yadda, hoy, dida, ho, yada
“Arrah, hold your gob”, said Patty Megee
Whack fol, de, dah
Now, dance to your partner Welt the floor, your trotters shake
Wasn’t it the truth, they told ye lots of fun At Finnegan’s wake
Then O’Connor took up the job
“Arrah”, biddy says, she ye’re wrong,
I’m sure Biddy then gave her a belt on the gob
And left her sprawling on the floor
There the war did soon engage
Woman to woman and man to man
Shillelah law was all the rage
An a row and a ruction soon began
Whack fol, de, dah
Now, dance to your partner Welt the floor, your trotters shake
Wasn’t it the truth, they told ye lots of fun At Finnegan’s wake
Then Mickey Maloney raised his head
When a bottle of whiskey flew at him It missed him falling on the bed
The liquor scattered over Tim
Tim revives, see how he rises
Timothy rising from the bed
Then Whirl your whiskey around
Like blazes Thanum o’n Dhoul Do ye think I’m dead?

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The Irish did certainly produce a fair number of poets and authors. Here’s a list. For a small island country it seems they offered the world an inordinate number of literary voices.
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Cheers and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
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Added after my dinner.
Review of the Sam Adams THIRTEENTH HOUR -Belgian style Stout. 9% alcohol.
I actually purchased this bottle before Christmas and was intending to drink it around the holidays.
Instead I drank a number of terrific wines and completely forgot that I had this craft brew on hand.
St. Paddy’s Day arrived and I remembered this was chilling in the back of the refrigerator.
Wow! What a fantastic compliment to the New England Boiled dinner.
The brew pours with a thick and heavy head. It is black as a moonless night with slightly reddish edges.
The nose offers hints of coffee, fruit and pepper. When I tasted it, I was expecting something like a Guinness, but this far exceeded the richness of that old standard. The THIRTEENTH HOUR was so complex! Dried fruits like currants some spice and a touch of coffee…smooth, rich and delightful!
I do hope they will do another run of this beauty next winter season. Stunning!

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/march-17th-st-patricks-day/

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