There’s an old joke I remember hearing back in the 1980s, and it goes something like this. An American tourist is vacationing in Dublin. One day, he decides to take a trip to Belfast, and as he’s walking around sight-seeing, a masked gunman grabs him and pulls him into a dark alley. The gunman presses his automatic weapon under the tourist’s chin and says, “Are ya a Fenian, or a Prod?”
“There must be some mistake,” the tourist says. “I’m not from around here. I’m from New York. In fact, I’m Jewish.”
“I know,” the gunman replies, “but are you a Catholic Jew, or a Protestant Jew?”
So, yeah, we all tend to see the world through the prism of our own experiences. What matters to me has to matter to you, right?
But you’ve got to indulge me just one more time, if not for my sake, then for My Sainted Irish Mother™, who can no longer celebrate with us.
So pour a little Jameson’s on the curb in her honor and enjoy this little ditty on the Feast of St. Patrick. It also happens to be one of the best songs ever written about the immigrant experience in America.
The Pogues, “Thousands Are Sailing”:
And did they still make you cry
Did you count the months and years
Or did your teardrops quickly dry
Ah, no, said he, ’twas not to be
On a coffin ship I came here
And I never even got so far
That they could change my name …
Image at the top of the post: The Plough Of Stars flag flown by the Irish Citizen Army.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!