St. Patrick’s Day


(Graphic courtesy of Anne’s Place)

Top o’ the mornin’ to ye!

Do you know the proper response to that greeting? “And the rest of the day to yourself.”

Though I think we have some degree of Irish blood in our veins, when I was growing up, we didn’t really celebrate or observe St. Patrick’s Day, except with the getting pinched if you didn’t wear green at school. which Sally tells us is an American invention. I don’t know why I never wondered why we did that. I don’t remember if we had corned beef and cabbage on that day — probably not, as it was one of my father’s favorite meals, we usually had it his birthday in late February. In my Christian college some staunchly wore orange rather than green to show their siding with Protestantism rather than Catholicism, though technically Baptists aren’t under the Protestant umbrella. But I like that the day seems to have become a celebration of all things Irish. Who doesn’t love the Irish? This poem I saw at Sally‘s says it well:

What Shall I Say About the Irish?

The utterly impractical, never predictable,
Sometimes irascible, quite inexplicable, Irish.
Strange blend of shyness,
pride and conceit,
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.
He’s spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child
fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up with tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest
to banish your fears.
His hate is as fierce as his devotion is grand,
And there is no middle ground
on which he will stand.
He’s wild and he’s gentle,
he’s good and he’s bad.
He’s proud and he’s humble,
he’s happy and sad.
He’s in love with the ocean,
the earth and the skies,
He’s enamoured with beauty wherever it lies.
He’s victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he’s Irish—
in love with his God.

One of my favorite missionaries, Amy Carmichael, is of Irish descent, and Irish folk songs are some of my favorite music.

Here are some St. Patrick’s Day links you might enjoy:

Updated to add this one: I saw on David McGuire‘s Facebook page this morning the statement, “It’s St. Patrick’s Day, but his inspirational life story is so much more than chasing snakes out of Ireland!” I asked if he has any good links about Patrick’s life, and he graciously sent me these:

The Confession of St Patrick.
What Evangelicals Can Learn From Saint Patrick.
St. Patrick FAQ from

Very good reading!

I don’t remember who alerted me to One Pretty Thing, but I enjoy the compilations of projects and posts based on holidays or themes. She has several St. Patrick’s Day projects for kids here and here, and general St. Patrick’s Day projects here.

Skip To My Lou always has neat stuff: her St. Patrick’s Day links are here.

Laura Ingalls Gunn at Decor to Adore has been treating us to a feast of Irish decor this week with touches for an Irish table setting and meal, Irish castles (I’m not much of a traveler, but I would love to visit an Irish castle some day), Irish china, Irish Linen, Irish crystal, and Irish thatched roof cottages.

Laura also shared a list of her favorite Irish-based films. Of those I have only seen The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.

Kelli at There is no place like home has some sweet touches for St. Patrick’s Day decorations.

Semicolon has a list of favorite Irish books. I’ve not read any of them yet.

And has a list of Irish-related links as well, including a live webcam to watch for leprechauns.

And I can’t have an Irish post without linking to my all-time favorite Irishmen, the Irish Tenors. Here they sing, “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.” about the first Irish immigrant to come through Ellis Island, 15 year old Annie Moore.

In her little bag she carried
All her past and history,
And her dreams for the future
In the land of liberty.
And courage is the passport
When your old world disappears
But there’s no future in the past
When you’re fifteen years

And probably the best known Irish hymn is “Be Thou My Vision.”

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

11 thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Day

  1. I loved this post, Barbara. It was fun to read. My mom never went out of her way to do anything Irish on St. Pat’s Day. But I think it’s fun to try and make green anything I cook today for the dayhome kids. Green muffins are in the oven as I speak. For lunch we have potato soup, colored green of course. LOL. I love Irish folk songs too and one of my favorite groups right now is Celtic Thunder. I could listen to them all day long.

  2. I DID know the proper response! I always wondered about that pinchin’ thing! I never did that! But of course, I always made sure I was wearin’ me green so’s I didn’t git pinched! I’d never seen that poem before — it’s a good one. Seems to describe a little bit o’ everybody – don’tcha think?

  3. May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
    Happy St Patrick’s Day! ~ Susan

  4. You know, when I was growing up we never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day either but wearing something green was important. Same thing with my girls. As a family, we still don’t. I have no idea why that is. But I did suddenly realize I’m wearing pink today. Not a bit of green, and I had never even thought of it. Good grief. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Top ‘o the mornin’ to you! « Stray Thoughts

  6. Pingback: Top o’ the mornin’ to you! « Stray Thoughts

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