Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day

Irish beer is good. Irish music actually sounds like country music. Ireland is beautiful.

So, why don't we see any of that here is America?

I have Irish ancestors. I grew up with green beer and corned beef and cabbage with the hidden coin. I heard a shrieking whine similar to the sound of dying cats that I was told was Irish music. Other Irish music seemed to always include men and women dancing to jigs that were way too perky. I performed in Brigadoon which most people thought was about Ireland even though it was clearly not. Leprechauns seemed to be a constant source of amusement to those around me.

Thankfully, in my visits to Ireland I saw Ireland, not some maudlin or Disney-like production with Lerner/Loewe lyrics about another country. My great grandmother wore traditional blue on St Patrick's Day and as her family had always done she always took me to church to pray to Saint Patrick in the hope that I would not observe the heathen celebration of "wearing the green" which meant green ties, shirts, scarves, beer and whatever, but never God's message to children through the Trinity of the shamrock.

The heathens she referred to were my protestant Scottish, Welsh and German relatives celebrating with beer, stories of some vague misty homeland and gluttony.

I've never seen a Leprechaun, but I once saw my father in a kilt.