Stereotypically Irish

I know I’ve mentioned my friend Greg before…y’know, Greg, the Irishman who grew up just outside of Dublin and only recently moved to Canada to marry his lovely wife Jenn?

(Well, if you hadn’t heard the story – now you know.  Greg is awesome, has red hair, will talk your ear off in a political debate and he and my husband once put away more pints of Guinness in one sitting than I thought was humanly possible.  I love him like a lil’ brother, and Jenn like a sister in law.)

Greg and Jenn are dear friends of ours.  Matter of fact, they’ll be Liam’s Godparents once I quit being a horrible Catholic and actually get the kid baptized.  Anyway, Greg has long lamented what North Americans have done to St. Patrick’s Day…and the reputation of the Irish, in general.  Greg has deemed himself to be the one who will educate Liam in the histories and traditions of his ACTUAL heritage, not a fictionalized version. He’s been quite adamant about it…

…for instance, when I posted this photo of Liam on St. Patrick’s Day morning of 2008, Greg responded with “I need you to destroy EVERYTHING associated with this stereotype.  You think because he’s called Liam O’Laughlin you can dress him up like that?!?!” (And then there were words like “shite” and “bollocks” and some others that I think were in Gaelic…)

Anyway – this year, for the sake of Uncle Greg’s blood pressure, I decided to actually look up some of our “American St. Patrick’s Day” traditions to see if there was veracity in ANY of them.

Yeah, well…the Irish DO eat potatoes.  That one’s true…

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to STOP enjoying the Holiday “as is” – I’ll continue to celebrate it the same way I have for years and years. Liam still has that hat, and will wear it to Pre-School on Wednesday, along with his green Lucky Brand jacket with “Dublin, Ireland 1958” in huge letters on the front.  We’ll read about leprechauns and I’ll put green food in his lunchbox.

I’ll just know better now. And it’s likely that I’ll enjoy it even MORE now, because I know…and because some of these “St. Patrick’s Day Myths” are downright funny!  Let me elucidate with some tidbits I found hither and yon on the interwebby:

  • It’s a boring ol’ religious holiday in Ireland – the whole “celebration” thing actually did start in America.
  • St. Patrick didn’t bring Christianity to Ireland.  Oh, sure – he converted a bunch – but there were already Christians there when he arrived.  AND, he most likely wasn’t Irish – more like British or Welsh.  (Didn’t check on the snakes, though.)
  • From what I can tell, no self respecting native Irishman would drink a green beer.  Besides, you can’t see the green in a Guinness, anyway.
  • The Irish didn’t historically wear green, either.  If you wore green, the fairies could “spirit you away.”  Now, wouldn’t that be unlucky?
  • Leprechauns are not cute.  Sure, according to Gaelic Mythology, they work for the Fairies making shoes.  Yes, they are said to fiendishly guard their pots of gold.  But they are also “nasty, alcoholic, brutish, insufferable and grumpy.”  Evidently that horrible Jennifer Aniston movie got it right afterall…
  • WTF is with the Corned Beef?  That was likely something they borrowed from their Jewish neighbors on the Lower East Side.  Lamb or Pork is a much more traditional “Irish Meat”.

Matter of fact, I found the following poem that drives the whole “Corned Beef” thing home, and which tickled me so much that I’ll be changing the March 17th menu in this house to  Colcannon with Bacon henceforth and evermore:


I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it’s corned beef you’re makin’
You’re sadly mistaken,
That isn’t what Irishmen ate.
If you ever go over the pond
You’ll find it’s of bacon they’re fond,
All crispy and fried,
With some cabbage beside,
And a big scoop of praties beyond.

Your average Pat was a peasant
Who could not afford beef or pheasant.
On the end of his fork
Was a bit of salt pork,
As a change from potatoes ’twas pleasant.

This custom the Yanks have invented,
Is an error they’ve never repented,
But bacon’s the stuff
That all Irishmen scoff,
With fried cabbage it is supplemented.

So please get it right this St. Paddy’s.
Don’t feed this old beef to your daddies.
It may be much flasher,
But a simple old rasher,
Is what you should eat with your tatties.


And so, in summation, I shall leave you with this lovely video of Bagatelle’s Summer in Dublin – with a slideshow of the ACTUAL city.  It was sent to me by another Irish buddy & Dubliner, Mick (who just happens to be one of Greg’s oldest and dearest friends.)

Enjoy, and come back tomorrow when we’ll have a great traditional Irish playlist from Gaelophile and all around good egg, Jody from Family Ramblings!

13 Responses to Stereotypically Irish
  1. Jenn
    March 15, 2010 | 5:44 pm

    This made me laugh out loud. Not least of which because we clearly need to plan a visit as Greg does not have a red hair on his head! Lovely honey brown. 😉 Still his use of the words shite and bollocks cannot be disputed!

    Love you guys! xo Jenn

    • Ri, the MSM
      March 15, 2010 | 5:47 pm

      LOL – well, okay…I should have clarified. Definitely not RED…sort of “light amberish”. Kinda like the color of a Harp? (The beer, not the angelic instrument! 😉 )

      And yes, a visit is DEFINITELY needed! Love you two, too! <3

    • Ri, the MSM
      March 15, 2010 | 5:50 pm

      And, Brian just said I’m gonna get an earful from Greg NOW for sure. To quote Brian quoting Greg’s probable retort:

      “Oh, NICE! So now I suppose all Irish people have RED HAIR, too? Hmmmmmm?!?!”
      .-= Ri, the MSM´s last blog ..Stereotypically Irish =-.

      • Greg
        March 15, 2010 | 7:20 pm

        I DO NOT have red hair….in fact only 5% of Irish people have red hair…..

        St. Patrick was most defiantly Welsh (possibly French) and I think LIED about the snake….Oh and the plant associated with Ireland with THREE leaves is a shamrock….NOT a Clover…

        • Brian
          March 15, 2010 | 7:54 pm

          Snakes need to hire public relations firm. Snakes control the rodent population and great scientific work has been done with snake venom. St. Patrick probably lied about snakes but he wasn’t the first.

  2. This Belle Rocks
    March 15, 2010 | 8:24 pm

    Hahah, of course you enjoy it more now that you know….cause you’re a rebel like that!
    .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..Who has time to be sick? =-.

  3. Mick
    March 15, 2010 | 9:24 pm

    bejasus begorra whats all this bolloxs shite talk about, now where is mr crock o’ gold :)
    cead mile failte la le Phairaig

    • Ri, the MSM
      March 16, 2010 | 1:05 pm

      LMAO, Mick! (And, hearing you say that in my head, in full Irish Brouge, is even better.)
      .-= Ri, the MSM´s last blog ..Stereotypically Irish =-.

  4. DiPM
    March 16, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Okay I haven’t popped in yet this week.. but I had BETTER hear some Pouges, Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys! Maybe a little Chieftains for hours into the .. um .. morning, yes Guiness and Michael Collins Single Malt will be flowing at my house. I don’t go to mass on St. Padraig’s, won’t EVER eat a corned beef and REFUSE to imbibe any green liquids! My grandma would roll over in her grave. I choose to celebrate in the spirit of the BEST thing about my trip to Dublin last year… Temple Bar pubs were packed at 9 am and we got stopped at customs so the inspector could take a picture of the hubby’s Will Ferrel shirt “Needs More Cowbell”. As far as I’m concerned anyone who organizes a St. Pats parade can just póg mo asal
    .-= DiPM ´s last blog ..Get a Sponsor to BlogHer =-.

    • Ri, the MSM
      March 16, 2010 | 11:05 pm

      Is it any WONDER that I love you?

      (And, coincidentally, ALL the artists that you mentioned are on yesterday’s playlist. It’s like you’re in my head, woman!!)

  5. Bertha
    April 28, 2016 | 2:38 am

    Total agreement on sucks! We are x-country skiing today and it will be fun and all but I would take riding my bike in the warm sunlight any day. Hope I don't walk like I have a ski pole up my pooper tomorrow.

    June 18, 2016 | 9:57 pm

    This is just the time of year for serious comfort food and that doesn't mean it has to be fancy… great looking dog with do many good things on it… it is just bursting out of the bun! Perfect picture of a great dog!

  7. credito online claro
    October 25, 2016 | 4:19 pm

    The ability to think like that shows you’re an expert

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