17 March 2007

Happy St. Patricks Day!

My father was born in Scotland and was quite proud of it despite coming to the U.S. as a child (The one on the far right). One of my earliest memories was the orange bow tie for St. Patricks Day in prideful defiance of the wearing of the green. The day had to be toasted with Scotch not Irish Whiskey and Harry Lauder was more likely to show up on the record player than anything that sounded like cheerful leprechauns.

All of this good humored razzing went back to a very real and traumatic period in history when The Ulster Colony was founded to settle Scots on Irish soil to put down Catholic revolt. This war between Protestants and Catholics went well into modern times, with The Troubles only recently being brought to a quieter resolution. Still over the years some have tried to make light of these problems and perhaps that is why there seems to finally be peace.

For all those descendents of Irish and Scots who made their way to America where even the Chinese celebrate St. Patricks Day with green beer and good times, have a wonderful day. The lyrics are at the bottom of the page for all those who would like to sing along to a truly fun song.

The Orange and The Green

Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

My father was an Ulster man, proud Protestant was he.
My mother was a Catholic girl, from county Cork was she.
They were married in two churches, lived happily enough,
Until the day that I was born and things got rather tough.

Baptized by Father Riley, I was rushed away by car,
To be made a little Orangeman, my father's shining star.
I was christened "David Anthony," but still, inspite of that,
To me father, I was William, while my mother called me Pat.

With Mother every Sunday, to Mass I'd proudly stroll.
Then after that, the Orange lodge would try to save my soul.
For both sides tried to claim me, but i was smart because
I'd play the flute or play the harp, depending where I was.

Now when I'd sing those rebel songs, much to me mother's joy,
Me father would jump up and say, "Look here would you me boy.
That's quite enough of that lot", he'd then toss me a coin
And he'd have me sing the Orange Flute or the Heros of The Boyne

One day me Ma's relations came round to visit me.
Just as my father's kinfolk were all sitting down to tea.
We tried to smooth things over, but they all began to fight.
And me, being strictly neutral, I bashed everyone in sight.

My parents never could agree about my type of school.
My learning was all done at home, that's why I'm such a fool.
They've both passed on, God rest 'em, but left me caught between
That awful color problem of the Orange and the Green.


Ping Pong said...

IRISH Tradition in America?

Growing up in the "SOUTH" I remember my best friend was dating a girl that was of the Green! We are all of the Orange.. My Friends family was concerned that it could be a MIXED Marriage....

Also her last name is Sherman... Not a popular name when you think that our Grandparents had direct contact with civil war survivors...

Jamie said...

There were segments of my family still fighting the Civil War in 1950. I had one great grandfather on either side so the family rift sort of continued until all the great aunts finally bit the dust.

Linda said...

And a happy St. Patty's Day to you, too, no matter what color your beer is!

Claire said...

Happy St Patrick's day! My Grandad left Ireland because of all that Nonsense.
I sang along!
Have put one up for you to sing along too!


Found this doin' the Stumble Upon Memory Project

carol g. said...

Happy St Paddy's day all... my maiden name was Johnson. Dad's mom always said it was Scot-Irish in heritage (she was Penna Dutch... LOL). Mom's mom always thought it should be English (she was a McClelland). Guess I am just "corn"fused. I will still wear green to keep those wee "gold mongers" from pinching me (hee, hee)

BBC said...

That picture reminds me of some I have when I was kid. Hard times, good times. Simple times, I like simple times.

I'm part Irish, an Irish lady once asked me to marry her, good woman, no fancy needs,maybe I should have.

Oh well, out in a few hours for some corn beef and cabbage.

Was I nice enough this time?

Jamie said...

You were. As I said. Disagree. Don't be disagreeable. As you keep pointing out we are on a journey. No sense in abusing the other travelers.