Nov 20 2013

Another Irish Curse

“May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat!”

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Aug 8 2012


n., a loud and/or heated argument or brawl, named for the suburb in Dublin, Ireland and its formerly famous (and raucous) Donnybrook Fair.

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Mar 17 2012


“For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.”

–G.K. Chesterton, from The Ballad of the White Horse

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Nov 17 2011

Donegal Danny

There is a folk song called Donegal Danny about a man whose ship was caught in a storm and all of his fellow fishermen perished.

Here are part of the lyrics:

“And often at night when the sea is high
And the rain is tearing at my skin
I hear the cries of drowning men
Floating over on the wind.”

I’ve heard this song several times, but it was only yesterday that I realized that ‘the cries of drowning men’ should sound like:

‘Glub, glub, gluuuububbbb.’

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Apr 21 2011

Irish Prayer

“May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he can not turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.”

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Mar 15 2010

Review: O’Dowd’s Little Dublin at Zona Rosa

Recently Heather and I took a short weekend off together to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

As most of you know, I love Irish Stew. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a place that serves it that isn’t called ‘Dan’s House.’

For those of you who don’t know, Irish Stew is lamb, potatoes, carrots, and leeks. Its unique flavor comes largely from the lamb and thyme, but from the leeks to some extent.

O’Dowd’s Little Dublin at Zona Rosa serves an Irish stew minus the leeks and with no detectable thyme, but they have added beef. At first I thought this was a good idea, but the problem is that the beef flavor runs wild over the lamb and crowds out the unique flavor. Overall the stew was a really great beef stew, but just a mediocre Irish Stew. While my palate was disappointed, my ego was gratified that my stew is better. I’m not saying my stew is more authentic, because I wouldn’t know, but I do think it’s better.

Heather, however, had some pork chops with mushrooms and a side of asparagus, and it was pretty amazing.

She also absolutely loved her bread pudding, both fresh and warm as well as cold from the motel fridge.

Our waitress, Jennifer, was very nice and we didn’t have to wait for anything.

Overall, O’Dowd’s was nice enough, but the high-backed seats were a little shallow and the place felt plain old American, and not the least bit Irish.

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Jul 26 2009

Whiskey in the Jar

Whiskey in the Jar is an Irish folk song dating to the 1600s. The song has been covered by scads of musical acts, including The Kingston Trio, The Ernies, and Metallica.

It’s about a Irish highwayman who robs an English captain and then returns to his woman with the money. After he goes to sleep, she betrays him to the English captain (a la Samson and Delilah, but instead of cutting his hair she fills his guns with water).

There are several versions of the song, varying the precise locale or the woman’s name, but the biggest variation is the ending: in some, the hero gets hanged. In others, he goes to prison, and in some his brother breaks him out of jail and they both go to lie in wait for the captain.

Aside from the chorus, Musha ring dumma do dumma da, Whack for the daddy-o, there’s whiskey in the jar-o, the song has nothing to do with whiskey (other than being Irish).

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Feb 14 2009

Traditional Irish Blessing

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

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Feb 14 2009

Traditional Irish Curse

“May the curse of Mary Malone and her nine blind illegitimate children chase you so far over the hills of Damnation that the Lord himself can’t find you with a telescope.”

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