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Irish History and Humor for St. Patrick's Day


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Everybody loves Irish jokes! So here goes with a wee bit o' Irish history and humor in honor of St. Patrick's Day, brought to you by yours truly of Gairin Celtic Musicians, Tom and Mary Kay Aufrance.

When did St. Patrick live?

There is a popular notion that St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, was born sometime in the 4th or 5th Century at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton. But now! Think about that! The village of Kilpatrick is on the River Clyde, which is in Scotland! If this is his true birthplace, then Ireland's patron saint would actually be Scottish! Begorrah!

We all know that as a teenager, St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders, taken back to Ireland and enslaved as a shepherd, and that he walked 200 miles until he got to a port and could get on a boat to escape. But then later he saw a vision, became a Catholic priest and went back to Ireland and the rest is history.

St. Patrick's Day is a great time for tellin' tales. Here's a totally plausible story.

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman, and a Welshman were all flying together in an airliner. The captain announced that they were losing altitude rapidly and that one of them would have to jump out to save the others.

"I do this for the glory of Scotland," said the Scotsman - and he jumped out!

"We need to lose more weight," exclaimed the captain; so, the Welshman shouted, "I do this for the glory of Wales," and then the Welshman jumped out.

"Sorry," said the captain. "I'm afraid we need to lose the weight of just one more person."

"I do this for the glory of Ireland," said the Irishman.

And then he threw out the Englishman.

St. Patrick's day is celebrated on March 17th, the day believed to be his death.

Why would everybody worldwide celebrate St. Patrick's death instead of celebrating his birthday?

According to the Nevada Sons and Daughters of Erin St. Patrick's Day program, St. Patrick's dying wish was for people to cheer up, and not mourn his passing, and to have a wee dram to ease their pain. Then, after he died, some of the Scot-Irish tribes in that region of Ireland had a brief battle over St. Patrick's body.

There is an Account in the 'Annals of the Four Masters' of the 'Battle for the Body of St. Patrick' that says the tribes from Armagh and Ulaid met at a river. Then the river swelled against them so that they were not able to cross it in consequence of the greatness of the flood. When the flood had subsided, the tribes were overcome by a strange confusion that caused them to cease their battle and unite on terms of peace. It was strange! Both tribes thought they had actually won the battle, because miraculously it appeared to each of them that each had possession of St. Patrick's body! So both tribes went home happily ever after!

The above is a true historical tale corroborated by the historical documents cited! Go look it up!

Another amusing tale from Ireland

98-year-old Mother Superior from Ireland was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable.

They tried giving her some warm milk to drink; but, she refused it.

One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen and remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount of the whiskey into the warm milk.

Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.

"Mother," the nuns asked with earnest, "please give us some wisdom before you die."

She raised herself up in bed and said, "Don't sell that cow!"

What about The Green?

Green may be the national color of Ireland, but the color originally associated with St. Patrick was actually blue. The 'Order of St. Patrick' was established in 1783 as the senior order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Ireland. The color associated with the honor needed to differentiate it from the Order of the Garter (which was dark blue) and the Order of the Thistle (which was green). So they went with sky blue.

However, St. Patrick used a three-leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the then-pagan Irish people. This has forever linked the shamrock with St. Patrick and the Irish in the popular imagination. He tied shamrocks to his robes. They say this is why we wear green today. The shamrock was also important in Celtic mythology because of its three leaves. Three was a sacred number to the Celts as well as the Christians.

More amusing Irish humor...

An Irishman named Paddy & a Scotsman named Angus are working on a building site. Paddy says to Angus, "Im gonna get the day off, I'm gonna pretend I'm crazy! And the Foreman will let me go home." So, Paddy climbs up into the rafters , hangs upside down & shouts "I'M A LIGHTBULB! I'M A LIGHTBULB!" Angus watches in amazement! The Foreman shouts "Paddy you're acting crazy! Go home." So, Paddy leaves the site and gets his day off.

Next, Angus starts packing his tools up and starts to go home as well.

"Where the hell are you going?" asks the Foreman. Angus replies, "What? How do you expect me to work in the dark?"

St. Patrick's Day in the USA

The very first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in the United States. The Irish have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick since the ninth century, but the first recorded parade anywhere was in Boston in 1737. The parade was not Catholic in nature, though, because the majority of Irish immigrants in the colonies were Protestant. Ireland did not have a parade of its own until 1931, in Dublin. Even today, 18 out of the 20 largest St. Patrick's Day parades are in the United States -- New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade is the largest in the world.

Potatoes and Irishmen

Paddy goes into a department store and asks the shopkeeper, "Excuse me sir, but do you sell potato clocks?"

The shopkeeper looks at him and says, "What did you say? We sell cuckoo clocks, carriage clocks, grandfather clocks, alarm clocks... what in the world is a potato clock?"

And Paddy says, "I don't know, but I start my new job at nine tomorrow, and the wife said 'You'd better get a potato clock.'"

The Irish have a love of tradition!

Q. Why does it take five Irishmen to change a light bulb?

A. One to change the bulb. Four to remark about how grand the old bulb was.

An Irishman is sitting at the end of a bar.

He sees a lamp at the end of the table.

He walks down to it and rubs it.

Out pops a genie. It says, "I will give you three wishes."

The man thinks awhile. Finally he says, "I want a beer that never is empty."

With that, the genie makes a poof sound and on the bar is a bottle of beer.

The Irishman starts drinking it and right before it is gone, it starts to refill.

The genie asks 'Well now you have two more wishes to go. What would you like for your next two wishes?'

The Irishman says, "I want two more of these."


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