Friday, March 17, 2017

Faith and Begorrah

This will be the 11th time that Pink Slip celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. All I can say to that is beejaysus.

Today I have no plans to do much by way of celebrating. I’ll probably listen to some Irish trad CDs, but there’s nothing special about that. I do that plenty.

I’ll check and see if WGBH (PBS) has some type of concert on. Failing that, I’ll probably watch the evening boy-o lineup on MSNBC: Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Larry O’Donnell, Brian Williams. (I’m guessing three, possibly four, green ties in there.) Of course, if I’m up for the full liberal lament lineup, I’ll also watch Rachel Maddow (the rose amid the thorns) in there, too.

I will water me shamrock, drink Barry’s tea, and eat some soda bread with Kerry Gold butter.

I will wear green, at least to PT in the morning, when I’m up for an eval of the tendonitis in my ankle that’s been treated since the first of the year. Having worn a green jumper throughout grammar school and high school, I’m not all that big on the wearin’ o’ the green, that’s for sure. But I do have a green workout shirt. And some cheesy shamrock earrings.

Last Friday, I went to an Irish music concert in Worcester with my sister Trish and cousin Barbara.

We had dinner at Bab’s before-hand, and I brought an entirely fitting Roche Piedessert, which I’d seen by chance at the Roche Bros. that morning. Now I ask you, is that a spectacular looking lemon meringue pie or what? It was actually very tasty. (Apologies to flag purists, by the way, I know that the orientation of the Irish flag is green-white-orange, not the other way around.)

As for the concert, young Irish tenor Emmet Cahill sings some of the corniest of cornball Irish (or Irish-y) songs – if “Danny Boy” and “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen”* came to your mind, you’d be dead on - but he has a gorgeous voice, and is an extremely warm and personable performer. (Not to mention completely adorable.) Plus he took my request (“Galway Girl”) and seemed happy to receive it, as most of the requests he fielded were for dirges and “Galway Girl” is a lot of fun. (Here’s a very entertaining performance of it done by Mundy and Sharon Shannon on the streets of Galway last summer, with a crowd in the thousands singing and playing along.) One of the requests was, bizarrely, for the “Irish National Theme Song.” I think the guy meant anthem… There was a promise to end up the concert with it (as was often done at trad sessions when I first went to Ireland many years ago; not so much any more), but that didn’t happen.

Young Mr. Cahill did have the good sense to say that he couldn’t do “Mother Machree”, claiming he didn’t know it. Good on him. I like to think I contributed to what may have been temporary amnesia on his part, because when I heard the request go out for “Mother Machree” I let out an involuntary and quite audible groan. (This was a small venue – full house, but maybe 300 or so folks.)

Emmet also blessedly ytranslated someone’s request for “Molly Malone” to “My Irish Molly O”.

“Galway Girl” and “My Irish Molly O” (both apt, given that my niece Molly is a Galway girl for the semester) more than made up for “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.”

Plus, he ended with “The Parting Glass,” a lovely tune (and one dear to my heart: it was sung at my husband’s memorial service).

Last night, I attended The Celtic Sojourn concert in Beverly. I’m writing this before that event, but I’ve been to Celtic Sojourn (a Saturday program on WGBH radio I often listen to) concerts in the past, so I’m pretty sure that it will be great craic, and that I’ll much enjoy myself.

So, that’s it for this edition of St. Patrick’s Day, except to add slán agus sláinte

And to provide a list of past episodes, some of which are pretty good reads:

2016: Kiss Me, I’m Half Irish

2015: The Wearin’ O The Green

2014: St. Patricks’ Day 2014

2013: The Ides of St. Patrick’s Day”

2012: Answering Ireland’s Call

2011: St. Patrick’s Day 2011

2010: St. Paddy’s Day No More We’ll Keep.

2009: Irish Eyes Not So Smiling These Days.

2008: You Say Po-tay-to, I say Po-tah-to. Who’s Irish and Who’s Not.

2007: Kiss Me, I’m Irish.

*A song that my sister Kathleen most heartedly despised. I suspect if we’d had a brother Daniel (the boy’s name lined up for my sister Trish), he wouldn’t have been all that wild about “Danny Boy”, either.

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