Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day And How I Gave Up Smoking

Saint Patrick's Day means little to me even though I am an Irishwoman. When we were children it meant a day off school which was marred by compulsory attendance at Mass where almost everyone would be wearing a clump of weedy shamrock and the choir would sing 'Hail Glorious Saint Patrick' which I rather enjoyed for I found the lyrics very rousing, more Unrepentant Republican than Devout Christian. At that stage of my life, I had yet to hear the Wolfe Tones.

Hail, glorious St. Patrick, dear saint of our isle,

On us thy poor children bestow a sweet smile;

And now that you’re high in your mansions above,
On Erin's green valleys look down with your love.

On Erin's green valleys, on Erin's green valleys,

On Erin's green valleys look down with your love.

Hail, glorious St. Patrick, thy words were once strong

Against Satan's wiles and a heretic throng;
Not less is thy might where in Heaven thou art;
Oh, come to our aid, in our battle take part!

In a war against sin, in the fight for the faith,

Dear Saint, may thy children resist to the death;
May their strength be in meekness, in penance, and prayer,
Their banner the Cross, which they glory to bear.

Nowadays I don't go to Mass and all that the day means to me is remembering dear old Paddy, wondering if any of my younger relations will be arrested in the Holyland and despising eedjits who carry on like this.

And what is it with the four-leaved clover? The whole point of the shamrock's association with Saint Patrick is that he is supposed to have used the plant to explain the concept of the Trinity to the native Irish. It isn't known as trifolium for nothing.

Anyway, Paddy's Day, my hole. This is the best Paddy I ever knew. Thirteen years ago we fetched him from the shelter, and thirteen years and two days since I gave up smoking for he sure took my mind off tobacco. That's my main tip for giving up. Get a dog. And some chickens.

Paddy was a great fellow for the hens

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