Monday, March 17, 2014

Top Ten Irish Things

   Now, it just so happens that I'm virtually un-Irish in my heritage. I know for a fact that there is more Indian (American, not Asian) blood in my ancestry, and there isn't much of that. So what? In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to offer up my ten favorite Irish things, generally speaking in no particular order. I say generally, because at least one of those things is definitely in a particular spot for a reason. Hint: It's at Number One.

10. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

   He whupped every marshal the French could send at him, then he beat the Corsican Ogre at Waterloo. Sure, the Prussians showed up late to help, but Wellington's the MAN! Plus, he has some snazzy footwear named for him.

9. Ireland Rugby

   Like I wasn't going to put a rugby mention here somewhere? Irish rugby may not be the best in the world, but they are still a lot of fun to watch.

8. Jack Taylor

   Discovered this as a TV program on Netflix. Hooked. Love it.

7. Van Morrison

   "It's a marvelous night for a moondance..." Cool. Just cool.

6. Soda Bread

   I know it seems a bit trivial, but I really like soda bread. Especially with currants or sultanas. Because, well, it's yummy.

5. The Quiet Man

   Okay, so maybe it is only set in Ireland. But it is still a great movie, and one of my favorite John Wayne films, as well. At least I didn't go with Darby O'Gill and the Little People (one of my least favorite movies). Casting a Scot as an Irishman... it's criminal. And I like Sean Connery. Worst movie he ever made, excepting Zardoz (the Gun is Good) and The Avengers.

4. Harp Lager

3. Irish Monasteries

   The Irish monasteries had a great deal to do with the preservation and redistribution of classical knowledge in and after the early medieval period. As the 8th century Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede wrote:  "At that time there were many of the English nation, both of noble and of lesser rank, who, whether for divine study or to lead a more continent life, had left their native land and had withdrawn to Ireland.  Certain among them gave themselves up willingly to the monastic way of life, while others rather went about from cell to cell of the teachers and took pleasure in cultivating study.  And all these the Irish most freely received, and made it their study to provide them with food from day to day without any charge, with books to read and with free teaching."  

2. Irish Whiskey

   I like whiskey. I also like whisky. If you don't know the difference, you should go find out. Soon.

1. Irish Women

   First girl I ever had a real thing for was fresh from Ireland, worked on my daddy's horse farm. Beautiful redhead, sexy as hell accent, flawless skin with a dust of freckles, and in good farm-working fit with the curves a woman is supposed to have, by God!. Let's just say I never minded the hay if we were in the loft.

   I bet you are all shocked that Guinness Extra Stout didn't make the list. There's a good reason for that. I don't really like it. I don't want to chew my beer, thanks.


Chuckaroobob said...

I'm going to add #11, Maureen O'Hara. She was in "The Quiet Man"!!
And yes, I'm 25% Irish.

Phil said...

I will spend 2 weeks in Ireland on vacation this summer ... so thank you for these informations!

Anne O'Leary said...

I like John Wayne and I like Maureen O'Hara, but The Quiet Man sets my teeth on edge.

A better movie to understand Ireland is "The Wind That Shakes the Barley".

My daughter is now dating the son of a well known Native American artist (his work is on your postage stamps and in the Franklin Mint). That boy is so well brought up, he puts other boys of his age to absolute shame. His father taught him how to honour and respect women and we just love him. We expect them to be wed before years end as he seems to be her right man. I will be a proud mother in law on that day I tell you.

J Womack, Esq. said...

Chuck: Maureen O'Hara falls under #1: Irish Women.

Anne: I know The Quiet Man is not a realistic picture of Ireland. I still love it, though. Especially The Fight. And congrats to your daughter on her (hopefully) upcoming nuptials. We went to the Smithsonian's Museum of Native Americans this past week. Some very interesting artifacts there.