St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner; are you ready to don the green?
Patrick was a Britain living in Ireland, first as a slave and then as a priest. He famously drove all of the snakes from Ireland and used the three-leafed shamrock as a symbol for teaching about the nature of the trinity. The 17th is the date of his death and is traditionally celebrated as his Feast (celebration) day in the Christian faith. Through the centuries, Patrick has become synonymous with Irish national identity, especially for immigrants living far from the emerald isle. Cities such as Boston and New York with large Irish populations have major St. Patrick’s Day celebrations though the date was originally observed with religious solemnity.
But life hasn’t been all shamrocks and green beer for the Irish; first the Romans invaded, then the British. Centuries were spent in trying to re-gain their independence. Napoleon tried to re-ignite the Irish in their rebellion against the English as a way to invade the country from within. Then, in the 19th century, a blight infected the potato crops, forcing thousands of farmers to seek their fortunes elsewhere; especially in America. In more modern times, the conflict between Protestants and Catholics mixed with the issue of independence in many violent attacks which were highlighted in the news for their terrorist in nature. Through it all though, the Irish have produced beautiful music and words that speak to our American sensibilities of the underdog. No matter what your nationality, we can all claim to be a little Irish on March 17th.
Here are some titles to get you in the mood: