Monday, March 18, 2024

Grandson of the Sod

Happy day-after-St. Patrick's Day! Whether you're Irish or not, I hope you enjoyed a fun day, wore green, listened to an Irish jig, and stocked up on potatoes. That's pretty much what I did, because my paternal grandfather was a red-headed musician from County Cork, so it would be blasphemy not to recognize the day somehow.

Mind you, Grandad "Red" isn't listed on my official family tree as his contribution to the family lineage was purely (or impurely) biological. He was hired to give my innocent young grandmother piano lessons but apparently threw in a free organ lesson and then skedaddled when she got pregnant.  Grandma quickly and quietly left town until she gave birth and could return. The baby, my father, was put in an orphanage for a few months to avoid scandal then legally adopted by his grandparents. He was raised believing himself to be an adopted orphan and that his mother was his sister, not discovering the deception until in his teens. All of which is my long-winded way of saying I've got plenty of Irish in me. As did Grandma, apparently.

Celebrating with other people would put my hermit status in jeopardy, so instead I decided to honor St. Patrick's Day by creating a new song to bring joy to future generations of green beer drinkers. In it, I tell the surprisingly little-known story of what the heck Saint Patrick did with all of those snakes he's so famous for getting rid of. 

I've also created a music video with large, easy-to-read lyrics so that you can sing along joyfully with your family and drunken friends. And maybe your red-headed piano teacher.


Mike aka Proof said...

Ah, the celebration of the Emerald...I'll have another, thank you very much!
Erin go Bragh!

Bones said...

Thank you for the history lesson about our large snake population,boots though are still not required,it's too bloody hot.Your song does clear up one subject that I have never understood,why so many jokes are told about the Irish.After sending us all your snakes which are good eating,your potatoes went bad and your people starved,must be the original Irish joke.On a different subject and definately NO joke,try this story.

brennan said...

As an Australian of Irish descent, that made me laugh.

Rod said...

I think it hilarious how you can be fully trusted to re-tell this family history every St. Pat's; and it seems like with a wee bit more information every time. We wonder: What would your dear Grandmother think of that? And did she keep playing the piano? [grinning].

Happy Saint Patty's everyone. WE have some of that blood as well and just to help preserve it I also became an engineer. Not a train driver... the other kind.

Rod said...

Post-Script: I just played the song. It's a MASTERPIECE. May I lead singing it at the next Scout campfire? And I owe you some drinks. Ahh, but you don't go out. It's a pity.

Anonymous said...

Free organ lesson! Hah. That’s well put n

Terri S said...

Loved it!!!

jimbro said...

My Irish lineage is more direct with my dad stepping off a plane at Logan Airport, working for a few years, coming down with appendicitis and taking a fancy to his nurse (i.e.: my mom) and the rest is history. That song put a grin on my face, thank you!

Chief Rocket Scientist said...

Thank you for the new catchy tune. Up in New England, we have always been told Paddy sent the snakes to Boston where they all became coppers.

Faith Davis said...

I like that song! Amusing for a Monday morning.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so Poppa was a Rolling Stone. Not your fault or responsibility, the adults back then handled it the way they did and that was that.

May the Good Lord Take A Liking to You !

Snark said...

Avery cute little Diddy! Now, how about a song for each of the other 16,000 species of critters down there that are just waiting (and aching) for a chance to kill us?

Anonymous said...

Twas my Grandma on my Dad's side (his Mom's birthday) St. Patricks day but she was dead and gone from breast cancer before I was even a twinkle in his eye.
I used to love to go to the Parade here as it was one of the largest in the Country although I'm not sure that still stands. Since most of my friends have died I really had no one to go with and after what happened at the KC Chief's celebration parade here recently and I did go to that but not near the station where the murders an gunshots occurred I'm not sure I'll ever go to another parade but I did used to REALLY have some fun that day.
And I guess not knowing about your heritage I did LOL at the free organ lesson as since I had NOTHING to do I actually sat at the used keyboard I bought back in July and attempted to read some music and play some songs I USED to play back when I kinda did know how. Been tool many years now but it did help pass the time. Love to you Stilton.

Kathe Houston

Patrick said...

Wow! The story of your grandpa is oddly similar to the story of my maternal grandpa - though his sire was a 16 year old field hand and his mother was significantly older. She went off to Bonny Scotland to give birth, and returned to County Down with him, and, when my great grandpa was of appropriate age, he and my great grandma married. My grandpa came to the US in his twenties (as did my grandma, but by a different route from Roscommon in Ireland), and was the hardest working man I’ve ever known, God rest him!

Fish Out of Water said...

I suspect many of us have 'things' rattling in our respective closets. Years ago, my brother did a DNA analysis and while our DNA history is mostly English/Northern European, there is a sliver of Italian, which I am guessing that in the mists of ancient British history, some Roman Legionnaire may have had his way with an ancestor of mine.

Speaking of snakes and Australia, given the spate of head-shaking crimes committed, or at least reported on, wouldn't it be nice if there was a dumping ground for such perps, like Australia was for Great Britain.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Bones: Thanks for the target list. >:D

TrickyRicky said...

Great tune Stilton! Very catchy!

Oldarmourer said...

I'm sort of 'Irish' as in 'Gallowglas mercenary from Scotland couldn't be bothered going home'.
The funny part is that the Scottish part seems to be mostly Jewish, probably exiled by the Romans to 'the end of the empire' on the other side of Hadrian's wall ;)

Joe Drypowda said...

Hahahaha! County Kerry for me but I'm wondering about all those red-heads I have in my clan!!

JustaJeepGuy said...

I hope all of Ireland is playing @Stilton's new St. Patrick's tune. Probably shoulda posted it some time before the Day, though.

Nancy Dickerson said...

Ah! Love the song and the idea that all those poisonous snakes got sent "down under."

Anonymous said...

Bobo said….
I’m Irish on my dad’s side of the family having come from Roscommon in the early 1900s. Story is, one member of the extended family in Ireland sons stole his brother Bernard’s ticket for the ship to crossover the Atlantic and assumed the name Bernard from then on. But… the original Bernard followed over later and now our ancestry lists two Bernard’s which makes the lineage a bit confusing to follow. The original Bernard was at church when the dastardly theft was committed upon him by his brother. Nobody in the family ever related down to others if the two brothers ever came together in the states.

My dad said the name Mitchell was pronounced “My-Chell” but was spelled like “Mulvihill” in Ireland. On mom’s side of the family GG-Pa was a Mancini coming over to Ellis Island from Italy. But, the officials at Ellis told them”there were enough “Mancini’s in the states” so their name became “Mangino.”

Ken said...

Perhaps St Patrick could find some way of dealing with our snakes ... you know who I mean. Perhaps Antarctica?

Gee M said...

Joe Drypowda
Top'a th' boker to ya, Joe!

Stilt...I truly loved explains a lot.

Gee M said...

Funny how my name was acquired...Miller (rotgut beer that I drank a lot of) was on the English passport my ancestor bought to get out of Russia; our name would have been Beck if he hadn't bought that passport. See the irony?
I drank a bit of Beck's Bier in Europe, hada walk my scoot off the ferry from Dover to Zeebruger due to English beer being warm and the ferry sold cold Beck's. Amstel Pilsner, Tuborg, and Beck's all gave me some good memories and tasted great!

TrickyRicky said...

For Danish brew always loved riding the Elephant!

Dave Mail said...

Great ditty. Almost went into shock until I realized that Clan McG had just changed the labels, not gone out of business.

Maoz said...

The Colorblind Blues, Party of the First Part, Covid Fatigue, Snakes Sent to Australia.

Stilt, you're a freakin' lyric genius!

Murphy(AZ) said...

My ancestors were Irish and German, a dangerous mix. Deep down inside, we want to invade all our neighbors and drink their booze.

Colby Muenster said...

Very nice Irish song; well done!

Mrs. Muenster and I play in a band; mostly Irish and Scottish music depending on the time of year. We wore ourselves to a frazzle this year as usual, but had a great time celebrating our heritage with music, Guinness and Irish fare.

I was adopted as an infant, but recently found my birth mother through DNA channels. Similar story... she was very young and was "hidden away" for my birth. I will likely never know who my sperm donor was, but my biological mother had bright red hair. She is still alive (90 something) and I will never meet her either, but did meet a biological cousin who also has red hair! Slainte!

NaCly Dog said...

What a toe-tapping tune. Thanks, Stilton.

The real question is what will Australia do when this is discovered?

Switch Fosters for Guinness?

Now go find an Irish lass, and spend money on her and songs and stout, rather than waste it.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike aka Proof- Bragh? Maybe Erin needs a heimlich!

@Bones- I have great fondness for both countries and the idea just tickled me that Australia ("The Land of Surprising Death") had ended up with all the unwanted snakes. I'd like to visit both places someday, but I'll be wearing a suit of armor in Australia.

@brennan- Glad to hear it. It's to both countries with love!

@Rod- I think I relate the story of my Irish heritage every year in part because it would annoy Grandpa Red (his nickname and professional name, owing to his hair) who didn't acknowledge my dear Dad. A couple of decades ago, my father reached out to Red's family in Ithaca, New York, where he'd had a wife and kids. Red was long gone (and I think his wife, too) but the "kids" in their 60's weren't delighted to find out they had a half-brother out there. Another reason for me to share their secret annually!

And as far as singing the song at a campfire, I'd LOVE that. Finish my saying "But Saint Patrick didn't get them all..." and then throw rubber snakes at the listeners. Good times!

@NWPA Ray- Grandma maintained that they never actually "did it," but that they did get kind of frisky once and a drop of something got on her dress. So my family got red hair and musical talent from Grandad, and a gift for lying from Grandma.

@Terri S- Yay!

@jimbro- That's a charming story!

@Chief Rocket Scientist- Technically I think they would be copperheads?

@Faith Davis- Give it a try on Tuesday. Still fun!

@Anonymous- My personal history also informs my opinions on abortion to a degree. If it had been easy and socially acceptable back then, the odds are that I wouldn't be here today.

@Snark- I think I'll call it "I Wouldn't Touch That, Mate!" Seriously, it's AMAZING how many things can kill you in Australia. Even trees! Crikey!

@Kathe Houston- It's sad, but I would also be hesitant about attending large public events these days. Although Saint Patrick's Day probably doesn't draw too much of a gangsta element. And I'm glad to hear you're playing some music - keep at it! And love right back at you!

@Patrick- Great family story and with such a happy ending! No pun intended.

@Fish Out of Water- I think the only family trees with no stray branches are the ones with universally ugly members. As far as a dumping ground for criminals, cutpurses, scalawags, and ne'erdowells, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, it currently seems like WE'RE the world's dumping ground.

@TrickyRicky- Remember that when you pass the tip jar.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Oldarmourer- A Scottish Jewish Irishman? Well have a wee dram with your haggis, my friend - you're a mitzvah to us all!

@Ken- I think it's only fair to give them the opportunity to enjoy some real cold considering how hot their eventual destination will be.

@Gee M- I'm surprised that it's taken this long for anyone to connect the snaky dots! And a fine story about your name - fate obviously took a hand!

@TrickyRicky- I'll assume that's a reference to a brand as opposed to being another one of my grandfather's pick up lines.

@Dave Mail- It's been so long since I've purchased Clan MacGregor that I didn't even know about the label change! It's still my cheap-ass rot gut Scotch of choice, but since becoming a widower (two years last week, damnit) I just don't drink much and already have a pretty good supply to work through.

@Maoz- I've written songs semi-professionally for much of my life but had no ability to bring them to life on my own. So this AI tech is great fun for me to play with! And as a former audio producer, I know what studio time and musicians cost - so it's great to be able to create a song for about a buck.

@Murphy(AZ)- I'm going to use that as a campfire story to scare kids.

@Colby Muenster- Hey, if your band ever wants to play "Snakes Sent to Australia" I give you enthusiastic permission! Just send me a recording! And good to hear that your biological mother is still alive in her 90's. Sounds like you got good genes at the very least!

@NaCly Dog- I'd like to think that Australia would embrace the whole "snakes from Ireland" concept. Maybe their tourism bureau could do something with it!

mamafrog said...

Well, after learning that a lot of what my dad's mom told us when we were kids I'm just not sure about any Irish in the family. She used to say we were Scots/Irish/Choctaw/Cherokee but it seems that was wishful thinking. Her dad tried to get grandfathered into one of the tribes because he "helped" a local group, but he was refused. Just as well from my perspective now.

My kids, on the other hand are Scots, Irish, Welsh, German, and English, quite a mix there. You could tell where hubby's family hailed from. They could sing and make music all the day long, beautifully. And had the gift of gab, too. In fact, his dad was born on Patty's day, of course! My family were dour farmers with the occasional sense of humor breaking through in some of them. (My grandad and his youngest brother in particular.)

I love your yearly story and crazy music too, lol.

Fish Out of Water said...

Totally off-topic, I know, but this job posting would indicate someone in NYC has some much greater ambitions than being an attorney general.

Job Description
Executive Division

Press Office – New York City


Reference No: EXEC/PO _SW_NYC_6317

Application Deadline is April 19, 2024

The Press Office in the Executive Division of the Office of the New York State Attorney General (OAG) is seeking a Speechwriter. The Speechwriter will work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment with OAG bureau chiefs, press officers, and senior staff to synthesize detailed information on the work of the office into clear and compelling speeches, op-eds, and talking points that are geared to a variety of audiences. In addition, the Speechwriter will prepare briefing and other media materials for the Attorney General; speeches are edited in close collaboration with the Attorney General. The Speechwriter also works closely with other communications staff to plan and execute speaking events that advance the Attorney General’s broader communications strategy. This position will be based in New York City and reports to the Director of Communications.

A minimum of three (3) years of relevant work experience in speechwriting, editorial writing, or government press that demonstrates an increasing scope of work and level of responsibility;
Prior experience advising local, state, or federal elected officials and/or experience working in NYS/NYC government or politics is/are strongly preferred;
Excellent writing, presentation, and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex information clearly and accessibly for diverse audiences;
Sound judgement, including the ability to handle confidential and sensitive information with discretion; and
Proactive with the ability to self-manage multiple projects and priorities while meeting tight deadlines.

The annual salary for this position is $111,480 + $3,400 in location pay. As an employee of the OAG, you will join a team of dedicated individuals who work to serve the people of our State through a wide variety of occupations. We offer a comprehensive New York State benefits package, including paid leave, health, dental, vision, and retirement benefits, and family-friendly policies. Additionally, the OAG offers a robust Workplace Flexibilities Program with multiple options for employees, including telecommuting (up to two days per week) and alternative work schedules.

Oldarmourer said...

In other words "Senator Blutarski's grandneice needs a job, tailor the specifications so only she fits them" that's the way it is in gov't, you're either underqualified, overqualified, or the one the job posting was written for.

Oldarmourer said...

Looks like there's a first class false flag operation underway in Russia at the moment, complete with men in uniforms attacking a peaceful Opera House, filmed in HD from various angles almost like it was expected...
Guess pootie got tired of losing in Ukraine and wants an excuse to threaten to nuke them if they don't submit forthwith, or perhaps he intends to blame one of the countries supporting them and invade them, like one of the Balkan states...never forget that he was head of the KGB...much like Bush the elder was head of the CIA

JustaJeepGuy said...

George I may have once been head of the CIA, but he did give up the office of the Presidency when the time came, much like President Trump did when the Demo_Rats stole the election, though the Demo_Rats swore he wouldn't. Unfortunately, Ross Perot made Slick Willie president and the Constitution has been defended and upheld less and less by those who swear to uphold it ever since.

Dan said...

Happy Easter, everyone!

Oldarmourer said...

Shhhhh...the fbi and/or csis will be on your doorstep if you say that, it's national mental illness day donchaknow.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

The eclipse has been the favored news topic as of a day or two ago, having been used to prove that the return of Jesus is imminent. It's true......I saw him walking on the road yesterday, muttering something about "those rotten Republicans" being the cause of brownouts and the low water level in Lake Meade. I didn't approach him because he looked threatening, carrying a long sword and a copy of MAD magazine.
My wife cautioned me to stay in the house and have another tall, cold, stiff Margarita to cure my delusions. I did, and the ATF and FBI have been banging at the front door for the last two hours, with promises to not make me a Democrat. Should I believe them?