And so it begins, St. Patrick's...Month.
For me, this time of year rivals Christmas. For the next two and a half weeks, I'll probably wear green everyday, sometimes in excess and with awkward amounts of gaudy, plastic jewelry. I will listen exclusively to the Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Pogues, The Tossers, The Dubliners, and so on. On the front of our house, we'll hang a nice big Irish flag along with a light-up shamrock. On weekends, I'll rent the great Irish-American movies of our time: the Departed, Boondock Saints, Gangs of NY. Trips to McDonalds will be more frequent than not for those curiously delicious (and now low-fat!) Shamrock Shakes. Next week I'm shippin' up to Albany to see the Murphys themselves, which should be a riot. Finally, on the 14th, I'm running Johnny's Runnin' of the Green race in Rochester: five miles of crazy irish runners with a few kilted gentlemen (who probably lost a bet or something) and a small number of leprechauns who sing "wild rover" for the entire race.
You're probably thinking one of two things. Either, "Wow! Your family is really authentic and must have just stepped off the boat!" or "Wow, you're a bunch of hypocrites that think you are Irish." The latter is absolutely true. While, yes, we do contain Irish blood, and perfer those around us to be well-aware of it, my family is really what some would call "plastic paddys". An actual Irishman might be disgusted at how we think we are "Irish" just because we put shamrocks all over the place and listen to "50 Irish Drinking Songs" all weekend. We might be slightly out-of-touch with the motherland and more wrapped up in the commercial Irish-American culture... but today in America, it's hard to be involved in any type of heritage, and it's rare to find an opportunity to celebrate European ethnicity. So, although it might be some level of "fake", we take culture and heritage where we can find it, and I think that's something worth celebrating.
Check out my March Playlist! Although I have loads upon loads of Irish Drinking Songs I could use, I opted for a more subtly Irish list... with some Irish-American artists, or some Irish-pop groups, like my favorites, the Cranberries :]