Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  No green beer for me today — instead, I’ll be quaffing an authentic black and tan with Guinness and Harp, poured in an authentic pint glass.

And for those of you who want to feel a bit more Irish this morning, I offer the lyrics of Danny Boy, below.  But don’t feel too Irish when you sing it; the melody is a very old Irish tune, but the words were written by an English lawyer.

Danny Boy

O Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The summer’s gone and all the roses dying
It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide

But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
‘Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
O Danny boy, O Danny boy, I love you so

And when you come and all the flowers are dying
If 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, though soft your tread above me
And all my grave shall warmer, sweeter be
For you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me

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Erin Go Dog

Sure and begorrah, it’s not St. Patrick’s Day until tomorrow, but it is Friday night, and our lucky leprechaun Kasey felt like getting into the Irish spirit a little bit early.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all, and may the road rise to meet you tomorrow!

Real Irish

IMG_1531It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and in downtown Columbus there is a parade today.  Virtually every American city has one, and many cities — Savannah, Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York — lay claim to having the biggest, beeriest, blowout celebration next to Boston.

But what about St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland?  It just so happens that Kish and her sister, the Long Beach Recent Retiree, are there on the Emerald Isle as we speak, kicking out the jams with the residents of Galway and celebrating the saint who drove the snakes from Ireland — or whatever he’s supposed to have done.

The photo above is of the Galway parade, and the gray building in the background is the Lynch Castle (now the branch of a bank) which dates from the 1600s.  The bar scene below is from one of the many pubs that the sisters have decided to visit — purely to get a clinical sense of what an Irish St. Patrick’s Day celebration is like.  Pay no attention to those empty glasses of Guinness and apparent tumblers of whiskey!

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Tipping A Glass To Our Unknown Irish Ancestors

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a day when everyone is Irish, or at least claims to be.

The Webners are no different. Richard recently took one of those mail-in DNA tests, and the results showed a significant percentage of Scotch-Irish DNA. I get the Scottish part; our extended family tree includes Neals, McCollums, and Fergusons. My grandmother, born a Brown, claimed Irish ancestry, and I’ve no doubt that there are other, now-unknown branches that undoubtedly touched the Emerald Isle. It’s enough, at least, to allow us to celebrate March 17 with a heartfelt Erin go Bragh.

I’m proud of whatever Irish ancestry we have. In my view, you have to give the Irish credit — of all of the countries that have contributed to our melting pot nation, the Irish have the best traditional holiday, by far. St. Patrick’s Day blows Columbus Day and Cinco de Mayo out of the water, and most other countries aren’t even in the running. There’s no Deutschland Day, or British Bash. And no other country has the branding of Ireland, either. Whether it’s leprechauns, shillelaghs, four-leaf clovers, or pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, the Irish stand alone at the top of the heap.

It’s also admirable that the Irish made drinking beer an essential part of St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, we know St. Patrick had something to do with chasing snakes off the island, but most people associate the holiday with beer. Beer drinking also is an essential part of the culture of the Germans, the Brits, the Belgians, and even the French, but the Irish have co-opted it completely. Years ago, some savvy Irishman obviously understood that focusing a holiday on beer-drinking is bound to increase the amount of participation.

St. Patrick’s Day is an easy day to celebrate: you wear something green and drink beer. You don’t have to go to church, and there’s no significant physical danger involved, such as you might find in running with the bulls in Pamplona. Instead, there’s just an opportunity to bend an elbow with your friends, quaff a few dozen ales, and pretend you like droning Celtic music. The only risk is being punched in the face by some drunken, red-faced IRA member, getting a wet kiss from a beefy red-headed woman wearing a “kiss me, I’m Irish” pin, or ending up face down in a vomit-filled gutter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

IMG_3395Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of our friends who are Irish and Irish wannabes.  Although we have a touch of Irish ancestry on my Mom’s side of the family, I’m not a green beer drinker or a huge celebrant of the holiday.  I decided to mark the occasion, instead, with some cookies shaped like shamrocks and the gold coins found in the leprechauns pot of gold that I’ll be delivering to Mom today.

Goodbye To That Troubling Shamrock Shake Commercial

Although there is some Irish ancestry in our convoluted family tree, I don’t pay much attention to St. Patrick’s Day one way or the other.

This year, though, I’m glad to see March 17 pass by, because I hope to never again see the frightening McDonald’s shamrock shake commercial.  Many TV ads suggest deep back stories, but nothing as troubling as that reflected in this 30-second depiction of a profoundly dysfunctional marriage.  The husband would do well to turn and sprint out of the house, drive away at breakneck speed, and change his identity, before his deeply disturbed and terrifying mint-loving wife decides it’s time to take even more severe steps to keep his behavior in line.  Run, buddy!  Run away as fast as you can, before it’s too late!

Could this commercial actually be successful in enticing the average person to try the shamrock shake that evidently has moved the wife to the brink of axe-murderer craziness?

St Patrick’s Day at Windward Passage

Last night the Windward Passage offered a lean corned beef and cabbage entree in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, however corned beef is not considered an Irish national dish and stems from early Irish American culture.

In Ireland their closest traditional dish is bacon and cabbage, but when Irish immigrants moved to this country in the eighteenth century they substituted corned beef considered a luxury item in their home country because of it’s lower price compared to bacon.

If you want to try Windward’s corned beef and cabbage it’s our Wednesday lunch special every week. As far as the picture goes, the group above was one of the last to leave the restaurant and I guess it shows if you love the Windward customers they love you back !