A short explainer on why we all turn green on St. Patrick's Day


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/15/a-short-explainer-on-why-we-al.html


#2

Oh my father was an Ulsterman, 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

Oh it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen
My father he was orange and my mother she was green

Baptised by father Reilly, I was rushed away by car
To be made a little orangeman, my father’s shining star
I was christened David Anthony, but still in spite of that
To my father I was William while my mother called me Pat

Oh it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen
My father he was orange and my mother she was green

With mother every Sunday to mass I’d proudly stroll
Then after that the orange lads would try to save my soul
For both sides tried to claim me, but I was smart because
I played the flute or played the harp, depending where I was

Oh it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen
My father he was orange and my mother she was green

One day my ma’s relations came round to visit me
Just as my father’s kinfolk were all sittin’ 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

Oh it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen
My father he was orange and my mother she was green

Now 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 both passed on, god rest them, but left me caught between
That awful color problem of the orange and the green

Oh it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen
My father he was orange and my mother she was green
Yes it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen
My father he was orange and my mother she was green

The Orange and the Green by Anthony Murphy lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.


#3

I believe the answer to that is America’s broad acceptance of negative ethnic stereotype.


#4

Stop misappropriating my culture please.


#5

I still prefer St Cuthbert’s/St Herbert’s Day, although that might be because I went to a school that was supposedly founded by Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (Originally St Cuthbert’s Church school (founded in 685), then later Carlisle Grammar School before finally becoming Trinity School). It might also because I prefer books and birds to stout (although I wouldn’t say no to a pint).

St Herbert of Derwentwater is a less well known saint who was a friend of Cuthbert and according to legend died on 20 March 687, the same day as Cuthbert.


#6

I would be thrilled if we could put St Patrick’s day back in a bottle and you could keep it all to yourself!


#7

So am I right in thinking, that by US standards, having a great-grandma from Ireland lets you walk around calling yourself Irish?


#8

Having a grandma from Ireland is enough to let you play for the Republic of Ireland national football team, so I guess so.


#9

I think the US standard for Irish is probably self-identification.


#10

I used to wear orange, but now I wear blue to commemorate Patrick’s Welsh-ness, and because March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, and blue is the official color.


#11

Our family has always gotten together for a big meal for St Pats every single year. There is no green beer, funny hats, or decorative shamrock napkins or plates.

There is food. a lot of traditional items. Corn beef and Cabbage (more a New England-Irish tradition than an Ireland-Irish one) is served along with more traditional Irish fare…
Soda bread (the original kind)
Brambrack bread (what most people see as irish soda bread now a days)
colcannon
braised red cabbage
glazed carrots and turnips
orange marmalade pudding

among other things (mostly stout and whiskey).


#12

I thought Orange Day was July 12, not March 17.


#13

St. Patrick’s Day is adorably cute because nobody remembers the Troubles.


#14

July is worse, at least in parts of the UK.

I remember having to be careful which bar I went past when I was visiting Glasgow during July in previous years because I am assumed to be Irish because of my hair (I’m not and my ancestors aren’t, at least within the last 80 years). Thankfully the worst I ever got was verbal abuse.

The Good Friday agreement meant that I got to miss out on stop and search too. The only tears shed over that is that it didn’t stop for everyone.


#15

My many years of bartending bring back PTSD like memories of idiots over serving themselves to the point of St. Pat’s Day Technicolor Yawn. No thanks.


#16

That’s within a dish or two of the menu for the St. Pat’s meal I’m invited to SaturnsDay night. (The stout and colcannon are the big draw for me!)


#17

Seven times as many people in the US who claim Irish ancestry as the population of Ireland! Would love to see the Don try to send them back home. But of course they are white.


#18

Everyone comes for the colcannon. I only make it for St. P’s.


#19


#20

You meant to say red, right?

St. David’s Day was March 1, mind.