A Hundred Thousand Welcome to the 2017 St. Padraig’s Day Issue! Now don’t be giving me the hairy eyebrow look, I’m just as shocked as you are that there is a St. Padraig’s Day Issue. Seems certain things in life will just simply refuse to be put aside regardless of your intentions to the contrary.
Now while our Parton Readers will be getting’ a full on Irish Breakie, you common lot will have ta be making due with Irish Breakfast tea, fresh hot buttered scones and bacon sammies on good soda bread. Yes, there’s a wee Baileys for your tea but lets not have a repeat o’ last year with the drinking of cups o’ Bailey’s with a wee tea in them please. Otherwise Fr. Flannigan is sure in ta be reading your name out from the pulpit this Sunday whilst simultaneously blaming me for the entire sorry affair.
Yes I’m looking straight at you Ginny. Just because it’s snowing glaciers in Jersey doesn’t mean you can run right for the Baileys don’t ya be knowin’!
Speaking o’ snowy scenes you’ll be noticing the scenery here about has changes thanks to the magical power of St Patrick’s Day. I fear however the effect may only be temporary and likely by Saturday ‘tis back to snow you’ll see.
Now be off with the like’s o’ ya now before the food and me tea gets cold.
‘Tis one o’ these I’ll be havin’ later ta be sure!
OK now that all the opening proprieties and hospitalities have been observed, before we get to the merriment ‘tis an issue of great and serious import I have to discuss with ye.
Most of you are probably not aware the our Darlin’ Diaman has a lovely lass of a sister named Jeannie who is every bit the dear soul that Diaman is.
Six years ago Jeannie took on cancer head to head and beat it. Now it seems cancer has come back for a rematch. Round one of the return match is scheduled for tomorrow in the form of surgery.
While Prayers, Blessings, Invocations, Convocations, Lighting of Offertory Candles & Incense, Railing at and Storming of the Heavens, Harvesting of and Rubbing the Green off Hectares of Shamrocks & 4 Leaf Clovers, the rubbing furless of 100s of rabbits feet (both feet per rabbit with the rabbits not being harmed, only greatly inconvenienced) and Grand Assemblies of The Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Elder Fae Folk and Elder Dragons having all been scheduled on Jeanie’s behalf I’ll take no chances for when it comes to cancer I take no prisoners.
I would personally request that each of you offer a prayer, intention, moment of silent reflection what ever is the custom of your religion or family to bolster and aid Jeannie in her time of need. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not the tongue or words for prayer, God doesn’t hear words he hears intentions and heartfelt selflessness.
Impish and I think of you all as our extended internet family and families come together to support one another in times of trouble and hardship. Well for Jeannie (and Diaman as well) that time is now.
So I’m personally asking each one of you, PLEASE take just 30 seconds out of your day to help Jeannie beat cancer again.
Thank you for your kind attention, let’s be on with the issue now so that she receives the medicinal gift of laughter as well.
BEGORRAH! Now THAT is what I call proper “the wearing o’ the green”!
Some people have been wondering what I looked like as a wee one back before I became my Curmudgeonly Crabby Celtic self. Well here is your answer. Me Ma had photos of me hiding me very first pot o’ gold when I was but a wee shaver.
Sniff! Looking back now I find it hard ta believe I was ever a one pot operation!
The Jarvey was a Leprechaun – Val Doonican
Things besides St. Patty’s Day to celebrate in March
March 15- Brutus Day Beware the Ides of March and all the betrayers out to get you!
March 16- Curlew Day Today’s the day to celebrate the long-billed bird that lives in the central and western part of North America. They probably have their own day because someone realized that no one had ever heard of them.
March 16- Lips Appreciation Day Get out there an appreciate as many pairs of lips as you can! Or don’t, kissing one person works too.
March 18- Play the Recorder Day “Hot Cross Buns” is okay on this day and on this day only.
March 20- Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day We all wished we had really lived next to Fred Rogers when we were kids, so celebrate his birthday by remembering the beloved TV star.
March 22- National Goof-Off Day Play hooky, go skinny-dipping, or just watch A Goofy Movie in bed. Whatever works for you.
March 23- National Tamale Day As if you needed an excuse to dedicate yet another day to delicious Mexican food. [One of the few Mexican foods I actually like]
March 25- Pecan Day No matter how you say it, on this day you can celebrate the fact that pecans really are all they’re cracked up to be.
March 25- Tolkien Reading Day The Tolkien Society created this annual holiday 17 years ago, so call in sick, curl up in your favorite reading chair and start the series for the first time, or enjoy it again.
March 30- Grass is Always Browner On the Other Side of the Fence Day Just because you think it’s better on the other side doesn’t mean it is.
[All it really means is they’re probably using a lawn service and you’re not]
Ok it wouldn’t be a holiday issue without a wee lesson about something to do with the holiday so kindly pay attention while I attempt to enlighten you.
The above stylized image is a an ancient Irish Symbol known as the Claddagh. In modern times is it most often seen or associated with friendship/betrothal or wedding rings
The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring given which represents love, loyalty, and friendship (the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty).
The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City. The ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century.
The Claddagh ring belongs to a group of European finger rings called “fede rings”. The name “fede” derives from the Italian phrase mani in fede (“hands [joined] in faith” or “hands [joined] in loyalty”). These rings date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped hands was a symbol of pledging vows, and they were used as engagement/wedding rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Fede rings are distinctive in that the bezel is cut or cast to form two clasped hands that symbolize faith and trust or “plighted troth”. The Claddagh ring is a variation on the fede ring, while the hands, heart, and crown motif was used in England in the early 18th century.
Towards the end of the 20th century there was an explosion of interest in the Claddagh Ring, both as jewelry and as an icon of Irish identity. In recent years it has been embellished with interlace designs and combined with other Celtic and Irish symbols, but this is a very recent phenomenon that corresponds with the worldwide expansion in popularity of the Claddagh ring as an emblem of Irish identity.
Galway has produced Claddagh rings continuously since at least 1700, but the name “Claddagh ring” was not used before the 1830s.
As an example of a maker, Bartholomew Fallon was a 17th-century Irish goldsmith, based in Galway, who made Claddagh rings until circa 1700. His name first appears in the will of one Dominick Martin, also a jeweler, dated 26 January 1676, in which Martin willed Fallon some of his tools. Fallon continued working as a goldsmith until 1700. His are among the oldest surviving examples of the Claddagh ring, in many cases bearing his signature.
There are many legends about the origins of the ring, particularly concerning Richard Joyce, a silversmith from Galway circa 1700, who is said to have invented the Claddagh design as we know it. Legend has it that Joyce was captured and enslaved by Algerian Corsairs around 1675 while on a passage to the West Indies; he was sold into slavery to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him the craft. King William III sent an ambassador to Algeria to demand the release of any and all British subjects who were enslaved in that country, which at the time would have included Richard Joyce. After fourteen years, Joyce was released and returned to Galway and brought along with him the ring he had fashioned while in captivity: what we’ve come to know as the Claddagh. He gave the ring to his sweetheart, married, and became a goldsmith with “considerable success”. His initials are in one of the earliest surviving Claddagh rings but there are three other rings also made around that time, bearing the mark of goldsmith Thomas Meade.
The Victorian antiquarian Sir William Jones described the Claddagh, and gives Chambers’ Book of Days as the source, in his book Finger Ring Lore. Jones says:
The clasped hands [style ring]… are… still the fashion, and in constant use in [the]… community [of] Claddugh [sic] at [County] Galway…. [They] rarely [intermarry] with others than their own people.
An account written in 1906 by William Dillon, a Galway jeweler, claimed that the “Claddagh” ring was worn in the Aran Isles, Connemara and beyond. Knowledge of the ring and its customs spread within the British Isles during the Victorian period, and this is when its name became established. Galway jewelers began to market it beyond the local area in the 19th century. Further recognition came in the 20th century.
The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart and usually surmounted by a crown. These elements symbolize the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). A “Fenian” Claddagh ring, without a crown, is a slightly different take on the design but has not achieved the level of popularity of the crowned version. Claddagh rings are relatively popular among the Irish and those of Irish heritage, such as Irish Americans, as cultural symbols and as friendship, engagement and wedding rings.
While Claddagh rings are sometimes used as friendship rings, they are most commonly used as engagement and wedding rings. Mothers sometimes give these rings to daughters when they come of age. There are several mottos and wishes associated with the ring, such as: “Let love and friendship reign.” In Ireland, the United States, Canada, and other parts of the Irish diaspora, the Claddagh is sometimes handed down mother-to-eldest daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter.
According to Irish author Colin Murphy, a Claddagh ring was worn with the intention of conveying the wearer’s relationship status:
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
- On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship.
- On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
- On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.
There are other localized variations and oral traditions, involving the hand and the finger on which the Claddagh is worn. Folklore about the ring is relatively recent, not ancient, with “very little native Irish writing about the ring”. Hence, the difficulty today in finding any source that describes or explains the traditional ways of wearing the ring.
Danny Boy (Instrumental) – Eric Clapton
And now you see why we do!
[“Kiss me I’m Irish” in Gaelic] or maybe you’d prefer this:
It’s also the reason behind this claim about the Almighty…
I received the following e-mail from Reader (and recipe critic/lover) Ginny:
Got this email from a friend….thought you would get a kick out of it……
Here’s a true Irish story I told Lo & John the other day. April brought home cupcakes the other day all decorated in green & I said, “Oh, St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes”.
No. The package was labeled, Shamrock Celebration Cupcakes. Guess St Patrick’s is not PC anymore.
Well I say:
Wolfe Tones – Wearing Of The Green
“The Wearing of the Green” is an anonymously-penned Irish street ballad dating to 1798. The context of the song is the repression around the time of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Wearing a shamrock in the “caubeen” (hat) was a sign of rebellion and green was the color of the Society of the United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary organization. During the period, displaying revolutionary insignia was made punishable by hanging.
O Paddy dear, an’ did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground;
St. Patrick’s Day no more we’ll keep, his colour can’t be seen,
For there’s a bloody law against the wearin’ o’ the Green.
O I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand
And he asked ‘How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?’
She’s the most distressful country this world has yet to see
For they’re hangin’ men and women there for wearin’ o’ the green
And if the colour we must wear is England’s cruel red,
Will serve to remind us of all the blood that she has shed,
So take the shamrock from your hat and cast it in the sod,
But never fear, ’twill take root there, though under foot ’tis trod
When law can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow,
And when the leaves in summer time, their colours dare not show,
Then I too will change the colour I wear in my caubeen,
But ’till that day, praise God, I’ll stick to wearin’ o’ the green.
There won’t be any of this sort of pansy ass liberal Politically Correct Censorship/Repression bloody nonsense on MY watch I can ASSURE you!
Rising of the Moon-Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem
Chicago PBS special, July 1962
The ‘Guinness Castle’ in Ireland is on the market
Here’s one high-roller way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day: Snatch up the castle that beer bought.
The historic “Guinness Beer Castle” — dubbed that because Guinness Beer heiress was once gifted the home. The formal title of the estate is actually “Luggala,” and dates back to 1787. Ernest Guinness bought the property, located just outside of Dublin, in 1937 and gave it to his daughter, Oonagh.
It sits on 5,000 acres of land and includes roughly 19,099 square feet of living space.
“With its low-lying crenellated roofline, the whitewashed structure makes a striking statement against the dark-wooded backdrop. Leaning toward Gothic style, it is awash with little battlements, crochets, trefoil and quatrefoil windows and ogee mantelpieces throughout,” Real Estate Deals reports. “Structures on the property include the main house with seven bedrooms, dining room, large entrance hall, three main reception rooms and library, a four-bedroom guest house and another 17 bedrooms between seven lodges and cottages within the estate.”
In Robert O’Byrne’s book, “Luggala Days: The Story of a Guinness House,” it’s described as “the most decorative honey pot in Ireland. The text also offers salacious details of the parties thrown at the property.
The price tag on this impressive parcel? About 28 million euros, or about $29.5 million.
I’m trying to convenience Molly ta move back to the Uld Sod with me so I can buy it. So far the Luck o’ the Irish isn’t proving enough ta get her ta be leaving her family behind.
Take Me back to Ireland Mary Prendergast
Reader Ginny o’ the Weak Knees sent us this helpful chart for all you non-Irish ta figure out your Leprechaun named for the day.
Seems that hers comes out to ‘Grouchy McNoodles’, while Diaman’s is ‘Dreamy O’Gratin’ and Impish becomes ‘Itchy O’Goofy’ for the day.
Fortunately I am a Leprechaun so I still remain “Lethal Leprechaun”.
If you’re of the opinion we Leprechaun’s made this entire thing up just to have a goodly laugh at you once a year drunken Irishman’s expense…you’re a whole lot smarter (and probably more sober) than we gave ya credit for!
“Tis the partin o’ our ways we’ve come ta, so I’ll be wishin’ ya’ ‘Good Night and Joy Be to You All’.
Éirinn go Brách!