Happy St. Patrick’s Day, My Peeps!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my peeps! I may be Sri Lankan American, rather than Irish, but there are a lot of commonalities between our communities — the economic and violent legacy of colonialism not least among them. I can’t sing “Kilkelly, Ireland” without tearing up.

I’ve always been a little obsessed with Irish story and music. It was particularly delightful, coming out to Ireland for WorldCon in 2019, and Irish dancing at the Hugo losers’ party. I have many fond memories of learning how at the Starry Plough in Berkeley, and watching my daughter learn and perform in our local St. Patrick’s Day parade a few years ago.

I’m planning to spend some time with Irish music today — if you’re not familiar with The High Kings, check them out! I’ve been listening to them a lot lately.

Wishing all the Irish and their diaspora around the world much peace, prosperity – and many wild nights of story and song! I hope to return to Dublin sometime soon.

*****

If you’re wearing green today, here’s a song for you:

The Wearin’ of the Green

Oh, Paddy dear and did you hear the news that’s goin’ round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground
Saint Patrick’s Day no more we’ll keep his colours can’t be seen

For they’re hangin’ men and women for the wearin’ of the green

I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand
He said: “How’s dear old Ireland and how does she stand?
She’s the most distressful country that you have ever seen

For they’re hangin’ men and women for the wearin’ of the green”

For the wearin’ of the green
For the wearin’ of the green
They’re hangin’ men and women

For the wearin’ of the green

Then since the colour we must wear is England’s cruel red
Sure Ireland’s sons will ne’er forget the blood that they have shed
You may take the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod

But ’twill take root and flourish there though underfoot ’tis trod

My father loved his country and sleeps within its breast
While I that would have died for her must never so be blessed
Those tears my mother shed for me how bitter they had been

If I had proved a traitor to the wearin’ of the green

For the wearin’ of the green
For the wearin’ of the green
They’re hangin’ men and women

For the wearin’ of the green

But if at last our colours should be torn from Ireland’s heart
Her sons with shame and sorrow from the dear old isle will part
I’ve heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea

Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of Freedom’s Day

Oh Ireland must we leave you driven by a tyrant’s hand
And seek a mother’s blessing from a strange and distant land
Where the cruel cross of England shall never more be seen

And in that land we’ll live and die still wearing Ireland’s green

For the wearin’ of the green
For the wearin’ of the green
They’re hangin’ men and women

For the wearin’ of the green

For the wearin’ of the green
For the wearin’ of the green
They’re hangin’ men and women
For the wearin’ of the green

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vwsFewcLTg

(Last photo taken at the Giant’s Causeway, Ireland.)

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