Friday, March 7, 2008

Danny Boy

If you’re lucky enough to be Irish...
You’re lucky enough!

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Dressed in green, I partake in all Irish American celebrations, including the mandatory traditions of corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, green jello, green beans and Green Rivers, both Chicago and soft drink. I can’t wait! Ten days to go!

Have you ever tried a Green River? It’s a lime flavored soft drink developed here in Chicago during Prohibition and named after the St. Patrick’s Day custom of dyeing the Chicago River green. If you haven’t tried it, you’re not really missing anything. Personally, I think Green Rivers taste as bad as cabbage (and The Chicago River) smells, but it’s tradition. You have to have it.

Along with green beer, “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons, green carnations and Danny Boy, my Irish eyes wouldn’t be smiling without any of these things on March 17th.

My father’s side of the family is 100% Irish American and St. Patty’s was always a huge deal to my dad who was actually named after St. Patrick! Sadly, my father passed away passed away when I was young, but not without instilling in me a love and appreciation for music.

While I remember listening to anything from classical music to Jim Croce's "Roller Derby Queen" with my dad, one of my clearest memories was adoring my dad’s tenor ranged voice singing his interpretation of “Danny Boy” on St. Patrick’s Day.

The song holds so much meaning for me that I named my son Daniel after the song and the associations I have with it. It’s true, I really did. He’s my “Danny Boy”, my Danny Boy, I love him so.

So, imagine my shock when I read on Yahoo! News that a New York bar owner named Shaun Clancy is banning the song “Danny Boy” from being played or sung the entire month of March in his bar!

He claims it’s not sung in Ireland and it’s depressing and overplayed. I only have one thing to say about that...

Here’s to you,
Here’s to me,
The best of friends we’ll always be
But if we should ever disagree,
Forget you. Here’s to me!

Ok, there might be some truth to the first two, but overplayed? I never hear that song at all unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day and even if you hear it 100 times that day, so what?


Guess what? Even though he is one of the patron saints of Ireland, St. Patrick has never been canonized, isn’t Irish by birth and never chased snakes out of Ireland. Corned beef is a substitute for Irish bacon and there’s no such thing as leprechauns or pots of gold at the end of rainbows, either, but... go with the flow, dude... IT’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY.

To ban “Danny Boy” seems un-Irish-American to me. To each his own, I guess. There’s no doubt it will be playing in my house!

And to all my friends...cause everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day....

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!



Sarah said...

Aww, what a great post. I almost cried reading about your dad and son connection. We are a huge St. Patrick's Day family as well and I couldn't agree more about the dumb banning of Danny Boy. I have been having a hard time not letting the kids wear their st. patty's outfits yet :)

Vixen said...

Faith and begorrah, what do you mean there are no leprechauns?!?!?!? Ye of little faith, hmmph.

We are a big family of Irish Americans too and St. Pat's day is almost a bigger holiday than Christmas around here. We do not, however, have a cool (smelly) green river. That is just awesome.

Rockycat said...

What on earth do they use to get the river that green?!!

Irishcoda said...

Hi, I'm of Irish descent too and love celebrating St. Patrick's Day :) My dad is 100% Irish, both grandparents from County Sligo. Did you hear about the Danny Boy marathon? Not sure where, just that people are singing Danny Boy around the clock to get into Guinness. Love your blog theme and also that you adopted a kitty from a shelter. Adult cats from shelters are the best!:D

Damien Riley said...

That picture of the green water is truly spectacular!

Crystal said...

That is one green river!