The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day

Belatedly, Happy St. Paddy’s Day

How’s the craic Widdershins?  (Don’t know if I used that correctly or not!

So according to the link above on Irish slang that’s supposed to mean “Hello”!   Friday was officially St. Paddy’s day but we’ll just celebrate it today.  We’ll  pretend we’re still celebrating from Friday.

Now of course this being an Irish holiday/celebration, it has to have music and indeed there more Irish music than you could shake a shillelagh at.  And the styles do run the gamut.  So I’ll put my selections below and you can, if you wish, add your in the comments.


(1) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ~ Irish Celebration

(2) The Dubliners ~ Molly Malone

(3) The Great Big Sea ~ The Night Pat Murphy Died

(4) The Pogues ~ Dirty Old Town

(5) Dropkick Murphys ~ I’m Shipping Up To Boston

(6) The Dubliners & The Pogues ~ Irish Rover

So there ya go Widdershins!  A nice six-pack of songs to help you to continue celebrating the grand day!  Of course it’s an open thread.




Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all!

Ah, Republicans and their selective “reading” of the Constitution. Those who seem to understand that the Constitution does, in fact, contain a First Amendment guaranteeing Freedom of Speech, also appear to feel it applies to Republicans and Republicans only.

In Louisiana, paid for a blackboard to advertise that Governor Bobby Jindal, our Fredster’s most Favorite Governor Evah, is denying hundreds of thousands of Louisianans the benefits of Medicaid. Here it is:

Now, maybe I’m way off here, but this seems like a rather factual poster. No one is calling Governor Jindal names or disrespecting him in any way. But as we know, the Right’s passionate belief in freedom of speech for racists like Ted Nugent (who famously called President Obama a “sub-human mongrel”), does not extend to those who expose their heartless and hateful policies towards the poor, the sick and the otherwise unfortunate. So, the Governor and his cronies have decided to sue, allegedly because they used the state’s slogan {“Pick Your Passion”) in the sign.

Having already served with a cease-and-desist letter requesting that the organization remove a billboard critical of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), the state of Louisiana filed a lawsuit against the group on Friday claiming trademark infringement.

According to Times Picayune, the lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims violated trademark law by putting up the billboard and running television ads critical of Gov. Bobby Jindal that use the state’s tourism logo and motto.


Pointing out that  “it is very sad to see the state spend taxpayer money on a frivolous lawsuit instead of providing health care to the people of Louisiana,” Civic Action’s Executive Direct Anna Galland added. “Once our lawyers receive and have a chance to fully review the complaint we will have more to say. In the meantime, we strongly urge Governor Jindal to do the right thing and allow 242,000 Louisianans to access Medicaid.”

Keith Werhan, constitutional law professor at Tulane University Law School, said suits of this type are rarely successful.

“The government can’t legally silence those who are criticizing them.”

It looks like Professor Werhan has a strong grasp of the meaning of the First Amendment. And, MoveOn.Org’s activism must be working, or the state wouldn’t be working so hard to suppress their efforts. So, good for you, MoveOn.Org! For today’s activism, maybe you can thank the folks in the organization for being a thorn in Bobby’s side. Or, you can do as the ad below suggests, and call the Guv himself about his disgraceful denial of health care to so many of his constituents.

This is an open thread.

Erin go bragh!  Today is the High Holy Day for those from the Island of the forty shades of green, and also the day when everyone else might apply to become an honorary Irishman/woman,.  There are teeshirts abounding in pubs today that prove it: 

You will see these all over SoFla today, as Perez becomes O’Perez, Levi morphs into McLevy and the like.  Today, we’re all countrymen/women, and I, Chat O’Green, hearby declares that we should so celebrate!

The world is familiar with Irish libations, from Jamison neat (please don’t mess it up with additives – if you must, sip a soda on the side), to Guinness (at room temperature, please), Harp and other wonderful brews.  For your sweet tooth, have some Bailey’s or one of those  wonderful Shamrocks (should probably be called a shillelagh) made famous by Pat O’Brien’s. 

Irish food is good if you like plain food.  I’m overly fond of corned beef and cabbage as well as Shepherd’s Pie.   (Every Irish pub has its own pet recipe for the latter.)  The Irish are fond of lamb and I’m not, so it’s hard for me to comment there.  Seafood abounds in Ireland, but as fish has always been associated with penance, the Irish avoid it as much as possible.   Soda bread with good Irish butter is excellent, and Irish bread pudding (made with a wee drap o’ the spirits) is just delicious.

Today is also a day for music, and Irish music is absolutely wonderful.  The music of the Celts tends to be wild and sweet, and can range from utter joy to the depths of despair.  Good Irish fiddlers are hard to come by, and an Irish piper even harder – the Scots have seen to that.  We love our pipes, though, and they ring out loud and clear at all ceremonial occasions.  Pipers do not just play at funerals – we pipe our christenings, weddings and other joyous occasions, as well as “piping down” our departed.  If your going to an Irish bar on SPD, you need to learn the music, so I’ve collected some of the more customary songs so that you might sing along:

(1) Molly Malone:  Here’s the Dubliner’s version.

(2) Raggle-Taggle Gypsy:  The Chieftain’s classic is featured here with a Japanese cartoon (???)

(3) Wearin’ Of The Green:  A perky song with terribly sad lyrics, honoring the aftermath of the 1798 Rebellion, when the English attempted to strip the Irish of a national identity by declaring that any sign of nationalism would be punishable by death.  I’ve selected this version because it posts the lyrics.

(4) Whiskey In The Jar:  This is one of a number of songs claimed jointly by both Irish and Scots as their very own.  It’s a rollicking drinking song if there ever were:

(5) The Irish Rover:  The Clancy Brothers are an old standby Irish music group, and they sing this song of the fate of the bonny ship Irish Rover.

(6) Finnegan’s Wake: Here’s a tune regarding a true Irish wake, which honestly do have music, food and drink.  My great-grandmother firmly believed that this was the only way to keep the banshee away and enable the soul’s safe crossing to the other side.  Her descendents are sort of afraid to test her theory, so it continues in Mother’s family.

(7) Londonderry Air:  Better known as “Danny Boy”, this one starts up as the crowd becomes a bit more maudlin.  (26+6=1!)

(8) Foggy Dew:  A song of the revolution, beautifully sung by Sinead O’Connor.

(9) Beer, Beer, Beer:   A good rendition by the Clancy Brothers.

(10) Bugger Off:  Many an Irish bar has closed down to this one.  (Warning: strong language.)

So, Widdershins, today we’re all Irish.  Go ye forth to the pubs and make merry!  Enjoy the day with the descendents of  Irish warriors, mystics,  literary geniuses, famous saints and infamous sinners.  Slainte, y’all! 

Beannachti na Feile Padraig oraibh!  (A Saint Patrick’s day blessing on you!)

This is an open thread.

Bottoms Up!

Bottoms Up!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. Today I will take my inner colleen down to Maguire’s Hill 16 for a day of pub grub, celtic music, step dancing, Guinness and perhaps a “wee drap” of Jameson’s or the Tullamore Dew. The potables speak for themselves, and I’m looking forward to dipping into some corned beef and cabbage with tangy mustard and soda bread, baked with a cross inscribed to ward off the devil himself.

I usually frequent The Field, but Maguire’s Hill 16 is named for the site where the artifacts of the 1916 uprising were used as landfill in a sports arena, and that draws me there every SPD. I love the wild, sweet music of the Celts. My maternal grandfather was a staunch member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, and would take his grandchildren down to the AOH events. He had a fine tenor voice, and would sing “Foggy Dew” accompanied by his friend O’Callahan’s sweet fiddle music. Mr. O’Callahan’s rendition of “Garry Owen” is still my personal gold standard – to this day, I still rank all Irish fiddlers on the O’Callahan Scale. I was also treated to wonderful stories of King Brian Boru, the tuatha danaan, and Finn McCool, who fiddled so hard that Tara burned to the ground. I learned about Patrick Pearse and Michael Collins, the “latter day saints” of Ireland. These wonderful grandfathers were shanachies in their own right, and passed on the history, legends and traditions to all who cared to listen.

Some of my mother’s Irish ancestors arrived pre-revolution. Some were indentured, and some appear to have been English prisoners (no crime there in Irish eyes). They initially settled in the Boston area, and the Sullivan branch of the family is still there. The balance of the families ended up in either Maryland or Louisiana for the most obvious of reasons, their Catholicism. A few were “famine Irish”, and came to America to flee the Great Hunger, aided by those already here. The latest arrivals came after that little rumpus down at the GPO in 1916, one quick step ahead of the English. My grandparents were ardent supporters of Sinn Fein, and sent money back home to the cause of Irish nationalism. (I’m grateful that they were not around to see the devolution into the IRA, and I’m even more grateful that the party has gotten a grip and leveled out to its present status.)

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