Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top o' the Weekend!

It’s that time of year again: St. Patrick’s Day! The holiday falls on a Monday this year, so most people will be celebrating this weekend, and since I won't be around tomorrow, the wearin' of the green post comes early!

The Irish have been stereotypically known as a drunken, superstitious lot with quick tempers and immense Catholic guilt, and Irish-Americans appear to be the only hyphen group that uses its designated holiday to reinforce these stereotypes rather than dispel them. But, as the Irish contributor to GitW (and, ironically, the non-ginger) I’m taking it upon myself to give you tips on a more authentic St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

Remember: Every time you drink green Bud Light, Oliver Cromwell kills a leprechaun.

Music is key to a good St. Patrick’s Day celebration. And no, you don’t have to listen to Danny Boy:

The Pogues – They’re known as an “Irish-punk” band, but I hear way more Irish than punk. Of course, lead singer/dental nightmare Shane MacGowan was photographed by a London newspaper when he was teenager getting bit in the face at Clash concert, so I guess that scores him permanent rawk points. Their album Rum, Sodomy and The Lash is a classic.

Flogging Molly – Often derided as gimmicky or a poor man’s Pogues, this band actually rocks way harder than the former, and I think has some pretty great songs.

The Chieftains – Traditional Irish music, but really good traditional Irish music, not just lame accordions and bagpipes. They’ve done some great collaboration with the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Sting and others.

If you feel like watching a movie on St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a few of my Irish favs:

The Commitments – One of my favorite lines: “The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud - I'm black and I'm proud!”

Intermission – Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy before anyone knew who they were. It gets a little sentimental at the end, but still worth it.

Waking Ned Divine –It’ll make you want to raise a Guinness in toast. Actually, all of these will make you want to raise a Guinness.

Beer is essential for any Irish celebration, but its got to be the right beer. The best are:

Guinness – Natch.
Smithwicks – Pronounced “smith-icks,” this used to be hard to find in the US but now Guinness is importing it.
Killian’s Irish Red – They don’t actually have this in Ireland, but we have it here, and its grand.
Harp – If you must drink a yellow beer, make it this one.

I’d suggest food, but “authentic” Irish food is basically anything that’s had the flavor boiled out of it. The culinary arts have largely evaded the emerald isle. So make whatever you want.

Erin go Bragh!


doorknob_dan said...

I think it would be best if everyone listened to Danny Boy. And did what Danny boy said.


Red said...

When are we gonna have a day for my people?!? The English are superior to the Irish in every way imaginable!

Just kidding...

I love everything on this list (even Danny Boy) and especially Guinness.

Falwless said...


I am 1/4 Irish.

doorknob_dan said...

I'm mostly German and largely don't drink. So aside from Oktoberfest, the closest I get to a national heritage celebration is when I trip over my own feet in the same aisle as sauerkraut at the grocery store.

Falwless said...

Mmmmm. Sauerkraut. I seriously love that stuff.

doorknob_dan said...

When I was a lad, we actually were forced to eat pork hocks in sauerkraut. (Well, we could've NOT eaten, I suppose.)

Yeah, like a pig's hoof. I'm gagging just thinking about it.

Liz said...

Wow, and I thought Irish cooking was bad.

Red, if you want, I'll start celebrating Guy Fawkes Day with you.

Red said...

Ah, Liz. You're the best!

Nathaniel said...

You need to mention Morven Caller as a great Irish movie.

BeckEye said...

I love everything to do with St. Patrick's Day, except that NYC has its damn parade ON the day. So this year it's Monday and I probably won't see any of it. Bullshit.

I love all of those Irish bands. I once worked for a PR firm who represented The Chieftains, and I sent some reporter from a college newspaper their info. Not long ago, I Googled myself (boredom) and discovered her article, naming ME as The Chieftains' MANAGER! I think that's hilarious. I should just put it on my resume, say I have no references for the job, but tell people to go ahead and Google it if they don't believe me.

Liz said...

Haha, I would TOTALLY put that on my resume if I were you.