Monday, March 16, 2009

Begorra! It's Saint Patrick's Day.

I have said it often and I will say it again. The Patron Saint of Ireland was a British Roman. How about that? Not only did he Christianize the Irish, he civilized them. I am not sure he succeeded entirely on the part concerning ALCOHOL, but tis a joy to see Irish eyes smiling and Irish hearts full of joy, even when their hearts are breaking.

Western civilization owes them much for it was the devout and dedicated monks of Ireland who spend laborious hours copying Arabic, Aramaic, ancient Greek and Latin texts in the harsh and humid winter nights. The climate of Ireland is eternally humid in all four seasons, these monks, sages, and adepts toiled and toiled till they dropped from exhaustion ot a wee bit too much of cuppas of wine. Don't think the debt is only to the Celtic monks. Many came from Britain, Wales, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Serbia.

I can't resist saying this. When the ancient Romans entered the Irish glens and bogs which they though uninhabitable except for wild creatures they found the Irish living there. Liquor was plentiful. Oats, rye and other intoxicating stuff was freely available. People went through the day, oops the days came and went and they whiled away the hours in a perpetual state of drunken grogginess. The frustrated Romans attempted to teach them how to build huts away from the bogs. No way.

One chronicler wrote, "Children are weaned on spirits. Seven year olds begin their day by crawling out of the mud and drinking this vile stuff for breakfast. They are too drunk to be aware of their surroundings. They seem not to care."

The Roman Emperors said, "Let us not waste any more of our time. If they are happy in their bogs and in their inebriation, so be it. let us concentrate instead on Britannia."

All that changed when this Anglo-Roman patrician named Patricio decided to return to Ireland to convert the very people who had enslaved him for 7 years. You have come a long way thanks to Saint Patrick. Viva Ireland.

It's true the English have their ballet which, strictly speaking is French and Russian. It is just not not descended from them. But the Irish dances or shall I call them Celtic dances are incomparable and authocthonous. I am including two sites which are a MUST SEE.

Once again Hurrah for Ireland!!


  1. But my dear Isabel, as I've told you before, THIS performance represents the Irish of today (including myself), even more than the two songs you've shared with us. THIS is what Ireland is like TODAY, and YET this performance echoes how my ancestors sang 8,000 (eight thousand) years ago. "Le plus ca change", the more things change, the more they remain the same, and it's especially true of my ancestors and cousins of the VERY ancient nation of Ireland, who have sung PRETTY MUCH LIKE THIS for the past 8,000 years:'

    John Ball, grandson of Genevieve (nee) Reilly, an ancient daughter of County Mayo.

  2. Thanks for the history and wonderful links, Isabel.



Isabel Van Fechtmann

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