I have repeated my basic statements on this day for the last few years, and since it's still what I want people to know about today, and what I want to say about today. I see no reason to change the practice this year.
my states and my counties
of purple mountains and four green fields
of pigskin and patriot games
of Stars and stripes and green and white
of micks and taigs
of my mother and my father
One world, and another
I am a "genuine" Irish American... so much as anyone can be said to be so.
Not some guy who's grandmother on my mothers fathers side stopped in limerick on the way over from France. I’m born to an Irish father and American mother, I'm a dual citizen, and I lived in Ireland for several years.
Today is the feast day of Saint Patrick.
While in theory Ireland’s most important holiday is St. Patricks day, in Ireland, the only people "celebrating" Patrick day (it's usually not called St. Patricks day) with wild partying, are the tourists (well... and the college students, but they'll celebrate the opening of a door with wild partying so...). Everyone else is home relaxing for the day off; or if they're still pious, off in church.
To Americans, it's a drunkards day, but to the Irish... or at least to those who are still religious, or who still give a damn about Ireland, and what it means to be Irish; its significance is something like independence day, memorial day, and thanksgiving combined... though that doesn't exactly capture it.
It's a religious holiday AND a national holiday, and one of the biggest worldwide symbols of Ireland there is... For good or ill.
For several hundred years under the British, it was illegal to celebrate Patrick day, and the conspicuous display of green on this day could see one arrested. It was considered raising rebellion against the crown... something my family has a long history of (really, look it up, fascinating stuff).
The celebration of this day is a very strong reminder to those who care about Ireland, and the Irish, what that means today, and what it has meant for the past 600 years.
Lest anyone think by these statements that I'm a supporter of the IRA, let me just say ohh ah FUCK THE RA. It isn't 1921 anymore, and those bastards have done more damage in the last 40 years than I can describe.
What most don't realize, or even even hear of; is that the IRA (and Sinn Fein the theoretical peaceful political component) are a Marxist organization. Yes they want a united Ireland, but they want it to be a "socialist workers paradise" like Cuba.
Yeah I think you all know how I feel about that.
Of course the other thing most don't know is, that since the late '80s most of the violence has been initiated on the protestant side.
The so called loyalists, and "protective associations" and other pathetic excuses for extortion gangs look at sectarianism as an ideal cover for their real goal: the control of the criminal underground of Northern Ireland.
If you want to know what someones opinion of it is, you don't need ask... just listen to what they call it.
If it's "The Cause", then they'll be singing "Boys of the Old Brigade" tonight. "The Struggle" is for those who march in orange down the Shankill road. The rest of us just call it "the troubles", and wish the lot of them to hell where they belong.
The worst part?
At this point, The Republic doesn't really want the north, and neither do the British. It's a gigantic economic drag (though it shouldn't be and certainly doesn't have to be), with extremely high unemployment, massive dole roles, very little sustainable economic base, and infrastructure costs that can't reasonably be borne... overall just a giant mess economically (part of that due to neglect, or outright hostility on the part of the British government, part of it the fault of the north itself).
If you held a vote in all of Ireland today whether to unify the country, maybe half of the northerners would say yes, and probably three quarters of those in the republic would say HELL NO WE DON'T WANT YA.
Which is a damn shame, because the Irish SHOULD be one nation, and one people. Even the English seem to accept that now; they just can't figure out how to extricate themselves from the situation while still doing right by her majesties subjects in the north counties AND saving face for the last 100 or so, or even the last 217 or so years (some would even say the last 900 or so years) of cockups.
So I think you can see why on this day, I find the singing of "rebel" songs to be a bit angering.
Now in honor of all the phony Irish assholes, and real Irish scumbags singing "The Men Behind the Wire" and "The boys of the old Brigade" in bars all over Ireland, Boston, New York, and Chicago...
The Patriot Game
-- Dominic Behan
Come all you young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.
My name is O'Hanlon, and I'm just gone sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, where I was weaned.,
I learned all my life cruel England to blame,
And so I'm a part of the patriot game.
It's barely two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
I'd read of our heroes, and I wanted the same
To play out my part in the patriot game.
This island of ours has for long been half free.
Six counties are under John Bull's tyranny.
So I gave up my Bible, to drill and to train
To play my own part in the patriot game.
And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained and sold.
I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those quislings who sold out the patriot game.