Pamela Pauley-Perreault

In assembling a tribute to the Irish and the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I thought you would enjoy some general information.

St. Patrick's Day honors Patrick, Ireland's patron Saint on the alleged (but not confirmed) date of his death, March 17, 493. Patrick, christened "Patricius" (meaning "noble"), lived with his Gaelic family who migrated to Britain. Until his mid teens Patrick lived a normal life as the son of a prosperous landowner and magistrate under Britain's Christian rule (now no longer part of the Roman Empire).
Patrick was captured and forced into slavery. There is a vague period of time in history where little is known except that he spent several years herding sheep, escaped from his captors, and returned to Ireland to do missionary work.
For the next 40+ years Patrick lived in Ireland, preaching, baptizing in the Christian faith and establishing churches, schools and colleges. He reportedly used the shamrock leaves to explain the meaning of the trinity.
History also credits St. Patrick with driving the snakes from Ireland with his music.

As the Irish emigrated and left their home country, they brought the celebration of St. Patrick's Day with them. As the first celebrations were noisy, today much frivolity, noise and parades are associated with St. Patrick's Day.
Many of our country's early leaders were of Irish origin - nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, and nineteen Presidents of the United States proudly claim Irish heritage.

Though the Irish brought to many countries their diligence, their music and their vitality, they were not without many problems during the growth of their country, the most famous perhaps the "potato famine" of 1845 to 1851. In researching this topic there were times I had tears in my eyes reading of the starvation of souls. Many differing historian opinnions as to the real reasons for the famine are present, but it is my observation that not only did their staple crop potatoes fail due to weather and wet ground, the potato farmers were not landowners and were forced to pay rent to the unsympathetic landowners when there were no crops with which to obtain monies to meet the rental demands of the landlords. England provided Indian corn and meal, but there were no nutrients to sustain their frail, starved bodies. Even artist Van Gogh, despite his delusional stresses, clearly saw the pain and suffering and painted "The Potato Eaters."

One interesting concept set forth by historians is that many times we, in today's world, look back upon historical events as happening to "ideal human beings" designed to compete with our present day concept of our own morality and cultural values. Times have changed. What we we have come to accept as normal (or acceptable) may not have been normal at all, considering those times. (Judge not, lest we be judged.)

The failure of the potato crop led to vast immigration from Ireland. The worst of the famine was in 1847 called "Black 47." Epidemics and starvation were rampant. In 1847 more than 100,000 immigrants sailed to the United States, frequently by Canada. One historian's concept was that even though "landlordism lacked humanitarianrism," the Celtic culture failed to adapt to the new Industrial Age, thus contributing to the effects of the famine. (Famine Painting and Famine Artist's Sketch)

Today, not only is Ireland one of the most beautiful countries in the world, it still holds old world charm. The world was blessed to have the Irish immigrants enter their countries and bring with them their vitality, strength and heart, including music and poetry from the soul. (See Photo and another photo)

When I enjoy St. Patrick's Day, the festivities, the great food (Steak and Kidney Pie, to name just one), the green beer, the songs and frivolity, I will also have reverence for those who brought the charms of Ireland to the rest of the World.
(And, yes, I do have Irish heritage as mentioned below).

May the jolly green Leprechaun hold your hand and lead you out of the potato famine, up the hill of Croagh Patrick, and overlooking the valley below.

And in memory of the wonderful Irish songs Don't forget "I'll Take you Home Again Kathleen" and the most famous of all - "Danny Boy."

(Now don't go crying, you'll make me cry, too.)

And even if you're not an Irish Rover, you can sing The Unicorn Song . And if you're sleepy by now, how about The Irish Lullaby.

Enjoy the day if you are Irish,
enjoy the day "with" the Irish if you are not.

And remember, if you drink, don't drive! Enjoy but don't drive!

Editor's Note: On a personal note, my great grandfather, Jacob Wolf Pugh, came with six brothers from Ireland to fight in the American Civil War. If anyone has any geneology information concerning the Pugh family, I'd appreciate an e-mail. (The brothers were separated during the war, fighting for different sides.)

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Return to Home Page
Go Song Lyrics of St. Patrick's Day Page.

(See Karissa's special page here.)
Irish Eyes Lyrics with Music
Wonderful Irish Music - the "Reel" Music. Thank you for your music and great links!
Out of Mayo Ireland Photos linked herein.
Another great Music Site

If you know of special Irish Links - please let me know so I can include.