Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day, my lassies!


I'm wishing ye all a wonderful St. Patrick's Day filled with the luck o' the Irish! I hope all of ya' are donned in the "Wearing of the Green" and have an Irish shamrock or two near ye'.
Being of Irish descent on my mother's side, I have always had a fondness for St. Patrick's day. My greatest dream is to go to Ireland and visit the entire country, but if not that, than at least the area where my ancestors came from: County Cork. My great-great-grandmother's name was O'Hogan and they immigrated to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia during the potatoe famine, so the family story goes. From there, the moved to Maine then down to Massachusetts. I lived in Massachusetts until 21 years ago and came back to Maine. They say you always return to your roots. Which reminds me, besides going to Ireland, I'd love to go to Nova Scotia---that, I believe, is more feasible.

Now, how about a wee bit o' folklore this Irish day that's all about St. Patrick:
A big part of the legend of St Patrick is that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland forever. In this part of the legend of St Patrick, he filled the Emerald Isle with lush shamrock fields to keep the snakes from ever returning. People say that shamrocks would grow wherever St Patrick had preached.
An old Irish blessing says,

There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
'Twas Saint Patrick himself, sure, that set it;
And the sun of his labor with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it.
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the mireland
And they call it the dear little Shamrock of Ireland
It is true that you won't find any snakes in Ireland. Believers in Irish folklore take this as proof that St Patrick indeed did banish all the serpents from the Emerald Isle.
This part of the legend of St Patrick is validated to some by the fact that snakes are never seen in fields of shamrocks anywhere in the world, and that shamrocks can indeed be used as a remedy for snake venom.
On this great day for the Irish, I'd like to tell ya' a wee story 'bout the Shamrock (a symbol of Ireland):

How did the shamrock become such
a powerful and universal symbol of Ireland?

Well, for starters, during the days of Queen Victoria, the shamrock became a symbol of rebellion against the oppression of the Crown, when the Queen made it a capital crime to wear the shamrock on military uniforms, punishable by death. It was during this time that displaying the shamrock proudly on one's clothing became known as the "Wearing of the Green".
Throughout the 19th century, the shamrock was used as a decorative symbol on everything Irish from churches and other public buildings, to clothing and household furniture. It wasn't long before anything connected with Ireland at all displayed shamrocks in some way. So the shamrock legend had taken on new meaning to Irish people. It went beyond being a spiritual symbol and became a source of empowerment and national pride.

I'd like to leave ya' with a bit o' Irish blessings:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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May you have love that never ends
Lots of money, and lots of friends
Health be yours, whatever you do
And may God send many rainbows to you!
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May you have:
A world of wishes at your command,
God and his Angels close at hand,
Friends and family thier love impart,
And Irish blessings in your heart!
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We're on this earth together,
And if we would be brothers,
Fight not just on your own behalf,
but for the sake of others.

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Green are the hills of Ireland,
And green they will always stay.
Warm are the blessings wished for you,
And they'll always stay that way.
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And this is my all time favorite Irish song:
"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"
When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure it's like a morning spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.
There's a tear in your eye, and I'm wondering why,
For it never should be there at all.
With such power in your smile, sure a stone you'd beguile,
So there's never a teardrop should fall.
When your sweet lilting laughter's like some fairy song,
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be,
You should laugh all the while and all other times smile,
And now smile a smile for me.
Chorus:
When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure it's like a morning spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away

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I'll now leave ya' to ya' Irish Coffee or be it Irish Whiskey along with your meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage and wish ya' a Happy St. Patty's Day!

3 comments:

2amscrapper said...

Happy St. Pat's Day to you!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Lots of interesting information here. Hope you had a great day! Your layouts from the previous post are great and love all the tags you received in the swap. Such fun! Have a great rest of the week. Tammy :)

Pryn said...

Awesome info! Hope that you had an awesome holiday :)