(For best results, please read with an Irish brogue.)
Sure, if I didn’t have big plans for this week! I thought I’d be tellin’ ye all kinds of tall tales and reciting dirty limericks and playin’ Irish drinking songs for ye on th’ days leadin’ up to this, St. Patrick’s Day. But alas, it was not meant to be. I’m still tryin’ to handle my tasks at the office now that I’m one editor short.
While I’m doin’ me work, I’ll be leavin’ ye with some ridiculous Irish greatness to consider.
Who doesn’t love a quick bit about sin and atonement? There are lots of jokes about confession, but this one’s my favorite:
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been six months since my last confession. On top of that, I’ve been with a loose woman.”
The priest sighs. “Is that you, Tommy O’Shaughnessy?”
“Yes, Father, ’tis I.”
“And who might be the woman you were with?”
“I shan’t be tellin’ you, Father. It would ruin her reputation.”
“Well, Tommy, I’m bound to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Brenda O’Malley?”
“I cannot say, Father.”
“Was it Patricia Fitzgerald?”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I’ll not name her.”
“Was it Fiona Mallory, then?”
“Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”
The priest sighs in frustration. “You’re a steadfast lad, Tommy O’Shaughnessy, and I admire that. But, you’ve sinned, and you must atone. Be off with you now…”
Tommy walks back to his pew. His friend Sean slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?”
Tommy pats his friend on the back. “Three more good leads, lad. Let’s go.”
The Wild Rover by The Pogues
No one captures an Irish drinking song better than Shane MacGowan and his band’s punk take on this traditional Irish tune.
Requiscat by Oscar Wilde
Wilde is widely considered to be one of the most brilliant writers of his time. What I love most about this piece is how he uses understatement and control to so elegantly convey one of life’s most devastating emotions.
Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.
All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.
Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.
Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.
Peace, peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life’s buried here,
Heap earth upon it.
When you have an Irish mother like I do, Irish fiction has a way of peppering the bookshelves. When I was 9, I picked up Finnegan’s Wake, realized it was too far over my head, and never revisited Joyce again.
Last year I read Dubliners, and spent every last word cursing myself for having missed out on Joyce for so long.
If you’re so inspired, read this Dubliners excerpt, titled “The Sisters.”
Irish Cream Coffee
Forget Guinness. Here’s how to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish.
1 12-oz. wine glass, preheated 10 oz. Bewley’s Gold Roast Instant Coffee
1-1/2 jigger Bailey’s Original Irish Cream
1/4 c. heavy cream, whipped until stiff peaks form ground cinnamon (optional)
Pour hot coffee into the heated glass. Add the Bailey’s and stir well to blend. Top with a mound of whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Yield: 1 serving
Irish Soda Bread
Of course you’ll need to nibble on something while you enjoy your favorite Irish beverage. Here’s a recipe from Gourmet Magazine, March 2002 to get you started.
When I was but a wee lass, we had a dog who looked just like this:
His name was Rory, and from what I remember, he slobbered a lot and wasn’t very smart, but I loved him.
I like to laugh at the raunchy ones. (Who doesn’t?) But what I like even more is a kind phrase said with sincerity, like this one.
May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket of gold
As the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest,
Be those which come true,
The kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to ye and yours!
~*~ Follow me on Twitter: @36×37
~*~ Visit the 36×37 facebook page