Sunday, March 18, 2007

Color Me Irish

Each year, I approach St. Pat's with some mixed feelings, given that I am a Catholic and I have Orange Irish heritage. My grandfather used to insist that his children wear orange on St. Patrick's day. A family story holds that my ancestor from the Emerald Isle, when she arrived in America and found anti-Irish discrimination, changed her surname to disguise her roots. She changed her name from O'Shaughnessy to Shaughnessy. I don't think she fooled anyone.

While this doesn't describe my circumstance, it is an amusing take:

The Orange and the Green
Traditional - recorded by The Irish Rovers



Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

My father was an Ulster man, proud Protestant was he.
My mother was a Catholic girl. From county Cork was she.
They were married in two churches, lived happily enough,
Until the day that I was born. Then, things got rather tough.

Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

Baptized by Father Reilly, I was rushed away by car,
To be made a little Orangeman, my father's shining star.
I was christened "David Anthony," but still, inspite of that,
To my father, I was William, while my mother called me Pat.

Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

With Mother every Sunday, to Mass I'd proudly stroll.
Then after that, the Orange lodge would try to save my soul.
For both sides tried to claim me, but i was smart because
I'd play the flute or play the harp, depending where I was.

Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

One day my Ma's relations came round to visit me.
Just as my father's kinfolk were all sitting down to tea.
We tried to smooth things over, but they all began to fight.
And me, being strictly neutral, I bashed everyone in sight.

Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

My parents never could agree about my type of school.
My learning was all done at home, that's why I'm such a fool.
They've both passed on, God rest 'em, but left me caught between
That awful color problem of the Orange and the Green.

Oh, it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen.
My father, he was Orange and me mother, she was green.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

"Being strictly neutral, bashed everyone in sight"-- I love it.

12:25 AM  
Blogger The unconventional mother said...

:) You know the real reason you wear orange is because you like being pinched. Who are you trying to kid D? :o

6:49 PM  
Blogger CMinor said...

Foxfier, I think it's the best verse in the whole song.

Un, he wears orange because it's growing out of his chin. But that will soon pass.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous desmond said...

I beleive Frank McCourt is Orange Irish? I'm not sure but the sort of Limeric lyric reminds me of those passages from Angela's Ashes.

Well, of couse I'm not sure if Mr. McCourt is still a Catholic by the way :)

5:58 AM  
Blogger CMinor said...

I'm not versed in McCourt's work, so I couldn't say, Desmond. But the lyrics are pretty typical of Irish Rovers tunes and of Irish songs in general, so if Irishness is a pervasive theme in his books it wouln't surprise me.

The tune is actually used for several other Irish songs, most famously "The Wearin' of the Green," so I'd bet some smart aleck Irish musician decided to parody that song for this one. Which is something we here at the minor premise can appreciate.

7:52 AM  
Blogger CMinor said...

All right, Desmond, you've been holding out on us. We just found your blog, or at least your final post. We didn't know you blogged!
If you pick it up again, let us know!
We'll come over and read, and maybe even pester you in the combox.

8:07 PM  

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