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from
Brownielocks and The 3 Bears

 


Irish Sing-Alongs
We've taken a few of the most popular Irish songs and created sing-along pages for you.
Some tunes are midi files. Some are wave files.
Lyrics are also included.


We've made some St. Patrick's Day
and Irish cartoons that are safe for
kids 12 to adults.


This is a bit of fun with the ancient Irish heritage of Druids and their beliefs of personality profiling based on trees and animals.


How much do you know about St. Patrick's Day,
and other things Irish?  Take a wee peek at
our Bit O' Blarney Trivia.


Love watching River Dance from your couch?
This animation spoofs couch potatoes.
Animation: Be patient with loading


See our Teddy Bear animation  where he dance just like 
Michael Flatley 
does in River Dance across your screen.
Shall we call him Teddy Flatley?

If only we could be so in shape? Share that sentiment with a friend.
Go to our Weekly Cartoon page!
This had dialogue. (Still Image)


We made a few cards for you to share some Irish joy with others.


Just love some of those colorful Irish sayings?
Here are some we hope you enjoy.

 

 


Don't forget.....

 

Never heard of Saint Urho?
The Finnish celebrate him every March 16.
It all began in Minnesota!

NOTE: Zazzle has website issues at times and it's very slow.
If you have problems, I apologize and ask that you try again.


Check out my funny St. Urho's Day products in my Zazzle Store.



Check out my fun St. Patrick's products in my Zazzle store!

 

 

 

Plus...

Yes, it is true.  St. Patrick really wasn't Irish at all! Shocked?  According to my sources, St. Patrick was born March 17, around 385 AD in Scotland. (Note: Other sources say that he died on March 17 and that the day a person dies is the "holy day" and thus becomes a saint's holiday celebration.) 

His father was an Italian named Calpurnius, who was said to be crafty in war and an official for the Roman government.  His mother is assumed to be Scottish.  His real name was Maewyn, but he called himself "Patricius" which in Latin meant well-born.  One day a band of Irish pirates captured him and sold him into slavery.  As a slave, he was a shepherd.  After 6 yrs. of slavery he is said to have had a vision telling him "Thy ship is ready for thee."  

After escaping, he is said to lived in Europe, but scholars differ on the locations.  It is rumored that while he lived in France, he decided to become a monk and devote himself to God.  It was during this time he is said to have had another vision to go back to Ireland and "convert the pagans to Christianity."   (Let me say that at that time the so-called pagans were actually the Celts and the Scandinavians, who had given Ireland it's original name of Irlanda.)   

Why were the Celts and Scandinavians considered the pagans, when the real pagans (by today's definition) were the Romans who at that time worshiped many Gods?  It has to do with the foundation of the Norse Mythology and the Celtic Religion basing itself of the love of nature as a God.  People have a tendency to scream "pagan" if they don't agree or understand another groups beliefs.  This is what happened back then.  The Celts felt that people were as much an element of the Earth as were the plants and animals.  Because they did not worship a Deity like the Romans, the Romans falsely spread rumors that the Celts, Druids etc. were pagans.  I might also add that this was a convenient excuse (just like in other situations like Cortez and the Incas) for the Romans to pillage the Celtic wealth.  

Although the Romans pillaged the Celts, I need to clarify that the Romans never conquered Ireland! At the time, from one map I saw, Ireland was called Hibernia.  And the Romans never conquered that area. Below is a map of the Roman Empire. If you notice, Ireland is not included.

I did not create this map. It's on several websites and I do not know who the authentic source is.

The Celts were more scientists and their priests (Druids) were the ones who performed their various nature ceremonies.  These people are credited with inventing the telescope, and thus in some people's eyes they "magically put the moon in your hand."

Evidence also shows that some of the apostles such as St. Peter and St. Paul, with 20,000 other Christians escaped Roman persecution and fled towards the Britons (part of Scotland) and created the first Christian Church there. So....that means that by the time St. Patrick showed up to "convert the pagans" well, there were already Christians there doing the job too. Thus, St. Patrick wasn't the first Christian in Ireland at all.

St. Patrick belonged to the Culdee Church (Celtic) when he began his work as a missionary revivalist. St. Patrick never attempted to stamp out old Irish rites.  Instead, he blended them with the Christian customs.  An example is  the Christian Spring Bonfire of the Celts.  St. Patrick introduced the ritual of the Easter Bonfire for the churches.

The Christian church of Ireland, as founded by St. Patrick, existed approximately 700 years FREE and independent from England.  It is not my intention to make this a Catholic or Roman-bashing page.  Nor a page of religious history.  But St. Patrick is called a saint, not because he drove snakes out of Ireland, but because it was a Catholic convenience to keep the Irish people under control when the Christian Church of Ireland feel into the hands of the Roman Pontiff around 1172.

How did the rumor  that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland originate?

Some scholars feel that when the Norsemen from the Scandinavian countries invaded Irlanda, (Irleand) they misheard the name "Patrick" as their Scandinavian word "Paudrid" which means Expeller of Toads.  Thus, the Norsemen looked around and because they saw no Toads or Snakes decided that their "Paudrid" must have really done his job well and so they credited "Paudrd" (aka Patrick) with making Ireland snake and toad free. Science now proves (biologists) beyond doubt, that there really were no snakes or toads in Ireland prior to and during St. Patrick's time. 

St. Patrick is said to have died in 464, at the age of approximately 79 years old.  At that time, the entire country went into mourning.

Other Fun Folklore, Legends and Historical Irish Facts

First of all, do you know there are more people born of Irish descent in the United States than their are in Ireland?  And, St. Patrick's Day is more popular here than it is over there also.

Colors & The Harp
The colors on the flag are green for hope, white for purity and orange for Protestants (William of Orange, the Protestant son-in-law of King James II).  But, for centuries "the wearin' of the green" was a symbol of springtime, hope, fertility and eternal life.  Today green is the primary color when representing the Irish and St. Patrick's Day.

The Harp 
Harp musical has been played for years in churches  and castles in Ireland. An old Irish harp, known as "clarsach" was small made of wood, held between the knees and plucked with brass strings. The harp appears on the coins and on some flags, as well as the royal coat of arms. The harp is one of the worlds oldest musical instruments and plays a long history in Irish mythology.

Magic of 3
The number 3 has always been significant throughout history. Some scholars feel that it goes way back to creation.  A man + A woman made a 3rd life which was miraculous. The number 3 wasn't unique in St. Patrick's time either.  Romans had the 3 gods : Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto = Heavens, seas, and earth and to them the rulers of the world. In Greek mythology there were the 3 Fates and the 3 Muses.  The mathematician, Pythagoras is said to believe that the number 3 = the beginning, the middle and the end and was a number of completeness.
The Catholic church makes the sign of the cross as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And, in many fairy tales the number 3 appears as in 3 bad step sisters in Cinderella and 3 wishes offered by genies.
So it's not surprising, the Shamrock also with 3 leaves is considered good luck.

 Shillelagh
The Shillelagh
Is really a walking stick made originally out of wood from the Shillelagh Forest in County Wicklow.  It's a form of Oak. But the English unfortunately desecrated most of these forests and so today the Shillelagh is made from blackthorn hedges.
The shillelagh is said to represent the staunch spirit of the Irish and their perseverance. It has also been used as a weapon and competitions were held at county fairs, using one in each hand (one to hit and one to protect yourself with).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drinking & Food


The stereotypical Irishman is considered a real drinker. (Note: Germans and Belgians both consume more beer.) And, so drinking is associated with celebrating St. Patrick's Day because rumor has it that he brought the art of distillery to Ireland.
"Poteen" is a home-brewed drink made from Irish white potatoes and has been credited with warding off ills relating to Irelands harsh climate.  One traditional custom known as "drowning the Shamrock" is families with servants would put shamrocks in a bowl and cover them with Irish whiskey.  The remainder of the bottle was given to the servants.  Today, we celebrate by "pub crawling" and many of the pubs will serve Green Beer as a celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

The most important thing about celebrating St. Patrick's day is that you don't have to be Irish to do it.  

The Irish seem to adopt everyone as family on March 17 and for one day, the world seems to all become one big happy Irish family!

 

FOODS

The most popular food, besides beer, to be consumed on St. Patrick's Day is corned beef and cabbage.  Other traditional Irish foods eaten in the US  are mulligatawny soup, Irish stew and Irish soda bread. In Ireland, the preferred dish is colcannon (made from mashed potatoes with shredded kale, minced onions and melted butter.)

Leprechauns & Fairies

The Irish have several kinds of fairies.  But the ones we known as the leprechauns originate from a group called the "luchorpans" known as the wee ones.  Apparently, some of their other fairies are much taller, friendlier and traveled in groups?
Anyway, these luchorpans were not like status quo fairies.  Since shoemakers at that time  were said to be grouchie, loners, the leprechauns got that persona also, along with the image of wearing green suits, caps and having a beard.

In general, the Irish feared fairies, who they thought could kidnap brides babies.
They felt that listening to fairy music (what this was exactly I'm not sure) made you lose your sense of right and wrong.  And, some also feel that the fairy mounds in the land could have been small forts or gardens of the leprechauns.  And, rumor has it that some farmers will not disturb fairy mounds as it's said to bring bad luck. Some fairy mounds can be seen today. Whether they are naturally made or made by fairies, is up for argument.
But are fairies real? Some say that when Christianity became popular, that the ancient Gods were retained as "tiny beings" in peoples minds. 

So why of all the fairies, is the leprechaun included with St. Patrick?  Some believe it's his green outfit, which was suppose to camouflage him. But the ones on St. Patrick's Day cards are representative not of shoemakers, but of farmers or owners of pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

Parades 

The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in Boston in 1737.   The potato famine of 1845-49 brought thousands of Irish immigrants to the US. So, they used St. Patrick's Day to express their ethnic heritage pride with parades, banquets, pageants and dancing.  People wore green and displayed shamrocks. Some flew the Irish flag with the harp.  In Ireland it's not as rowdy at all.  Many stay home and watch the New York St. Patrick's Day parade on TV. But in Ireland they don't drink green beer, or wear green derbies (an English invention) nor do they put green carnations in the lapels. With some people, they also choose to wear the Scottish Thistle as an emblem.

The New York City parade is the largest  and most celebrated.  It began in 1763 when a small group of Irish settlers banded together and followed each other from one tavern to the next.  Such informal marches became more organized after the Revolutionary War  when a veteran's group "The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick" began advertising their ancestry on March 17.  As more immigrants poured into New York, the parade grew in number and popularity.

Today, St. Patrick's Day parades are held all over the US since it's a US invention.
They usually feature marching bands, fife and drum corps and the wearing of kilts.  Popular Irish songs such as "Danny Boy" and "Garryowen" are played.  And green is the fashion color theme!

 

Shamrocks

The shamrock is the most popular symbol of the Irish. It looks like a 3-leaved clover. It is the English name for it's Gaelic name of "seamrog"  dating back to 1707. St. Patrick is said to have been standing in a field of shamrocks when he drove the snakes and toads away.  Because it has 3 leaves, but it still one plant, many Catholics revere it as a symbol of the holy trinity.

The 4 leaves of the shamrock are said to symbolize as follows:

One Leaf = Hope
One Leaf = Faith
One Leaf = Love
One Leaf = Luck

The first reference to wearing a shamrock on the lapel of a coat on Saint Feast Day dates back to 1681.  In the 1770's, during the time of Grattan's Parliament, the shamrock became an emblem by the Irish Volunteers.  It became a symbol of  rebellion to the degree that Queen Victoria forbade Irish regiments to wear it.  During this time, however, civilians wore a green and red paper crosses. The shamrock may be a symbol of Ireland, but it also been woven into the United Kingdom as well; along with the rose, thistle and the leek (also Scotland and Wales). Today, it's no longer considered rebellious to wear a shamrock.  And, the Irish Guards of the British Army are presented with a shamrock by the Royal Family on St. Patrick's Day.

Shamrock Origin Poem

There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle.
'Twas St. Patrick himself sure that set it.
And, the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile.
And, a tear from his eyes oft-times wet it.
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the mireland.
And they call it the dear little Shamrock of Ireland!

 

 Irish Coffee

Drinking Irish Coffee on St. Patrick's Day really isn't an Irish custom at all because it doesn't go back as far in time as other customs like the shamrock for instance.  (Well, I guess one could argue that green beer doesn't go back for centuries either and it's a tradition.) 

So, when was Irish coffee invented? What is the origin of Irish coffee?

 It all depends on which story you want to believe.  Some say that it was invented 34 years ago in the Shannon Airport bar in Western Ireland.  The story goes.... that on March 17th a bartender, who had been out celebrating the holiday, came to work a bit hung-over. To help him feel better, he poured a bit of whiskey into his coffee.  Then he gave it to some of his customers to try.  They all liked it!  And so word got around and well....

Others claim that it was  another "San Francisco Treat" and invented 27 years ago at the Buena Vista Cafe (near the bottom of the Leavenworth Street cable car line.)  The story goes... Stanley Delaplane, a travel writer and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, had been one of the customers at the Shannon Airport Bar.  When he got back to San Francisco, he told the bartender at the Buena Vista Cafe how to make a glass of Irish Whiskey for him.  Soon, the Buena Vista Cafe started promoting it for all their customers.  It grew so popular that within time, the Buena Vista Cafe claims to be the sole originator of this drink. And, in doing so, they also sell their own Irish Coffee set, complete with the recipe and their version of the story.

So, how do you make Irish Coffee?  Well, this is the recipe that is  said to be the only real authentic one:

 

TRADITIONAL IRISH COFFEE
(Serving for 1)

5 ounces of hot, boiling water
Strong, fresh, hot coffee (made from fresh ground beans with a drip filter)
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
1.5 ounces of Irish Whiskey
(The brand doesn't matter because all Irish whiskies are made by Irish distilleries, which is partly owned by Seagrams, a US Company.)
Softly whipped cream with a thick enough consistency to float.

Directions:

Get an 8 ounce clear glass mug and put a spoon in it.
Carefully fill this only half-way with the boiling water.
Remove the spoon and pour out the water.

Quickly! Pour in the fresh, hot coffee! Then put in the brown sugar.
(Note: White sugar can be used but it doesn't enhance the whiskey as good as brown sugar does.)
Now...pour in the whiskey!
And, then you pour on the cream!
(Note: The original recipe called for real, plain, unwhipped cream which is hard to find.)
The cream is the fussy part.  It has to be thick enough to float, but soft enough
to let the coffee quaff through it so it cools, but also enriches the drink.
If your first taste leaves you with an evenly distributed white moustache,
then you did it just perfectly!

 

Phobias

St. Patrick's Day isn't necessarily noted for stress and phobias like some of the other holidays we have.  If there are any, they are extremely rare.  But some examples of a St. Patrick's Day phobia could be chromatophobia - the fear of colors or of green. St. Patrick's Day parades can induce those who have ochilophobia - the fear of crowds or phonophobia - the fear of loud noises and loud yelling to become stressed out.  Ironically, there has never been any reported incident of mythophobia - the fear of lying.  I guess because of kissing that blarney stone? :)

For some folklore and history regarding the potato, visit our Potato Folklore page.

Are you born under a Tree or an Animal?   Check out the Celtic Versions.
Visit our Real Gaelic, Celtic or Irish Horoscope Page by clicking this button.

 

Midi Titled: "Ode to Whiskey"
(If you are underage, don't listen!)

Sources:  Holiday Symbols, 2nd Edition, Sue Ellen Thompson 
Omnigraphics, Inc. 2000
Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun, Donald E. Dossey, Ph.D
Outcomes Unlimited Press, Inc.  1992

"America Celebrates" by Henning Cohen and Tristram Potter Coffin
Visible Ink Press 1991

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