Start Time: 06:53
End Time: 09:33
Professor Buzzkill explains that most St. Patrick's Day celebrations actually started in America, not Ireland. The professor relates his experience with St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, which was a pretty subdued affair.
Publish Date: Mar 15, 2021
Professor Buzzkill explains that most St. Patrick's Day celebrations actually started in America, not Ireland. However, the professor doesn't think this makes the celebrations less authentic. After all, they were started by Irish-American immigrants, and don't we all have bigger things to worry about.
and that brings me to the United States. As almost everyone in Ireland knows, almost all ST Patrick's Day celebrations really are American inventions. I want to have a big shout out to my friend Mark Burke in Dublin, who was a college made of mine back at University College Cork in the early eighties, when I was a student and you went to ST Patrick's Day parades in Ireland. It was no big deal. In fact, it was a very, very small deal. The year I was in Cork, we went to the ST Patrick's Day parade, which was only held by the Cork City fathers because Tip O'Neill was visiting from Boston. And even then it was a pretty rinky dink affair. I got to meet the great man, but there was no great, you know, procession of bands. There was no great procession of colours, and there's certainly no rivers of beer and all that sort of stuff. All of those things are mostly have their origins in 19th century Irish American traditions. A lot of these were wrapped up in the in the efforts in those decades to organize labor unions right to protest other kinds against other kinds of discrimination, right? So the whole politics, if you will, of working class culture of Irish American culture in the 19th century, not just Irish identity but other things like union organizing those things helped create a sense of Irish pride, a sense of pride in being Irish American and wanting to show that on ST Patrick's Day So Saint Patrick's Day. If anything, folks, the way it's celebrated is an American invention and has been re exported back to Ireland and to other places in the world. Now in Dublin, there's a big Saint Patrick's Day parade. Now it's a big, colorful affair. It wasn't always that way, and that brings me to an interesting point like I started in the beginning. Like I said in the beginning, I used to be a real jerk about this. I used to complain that American celebrations of ST Patrick's days are inauthentic, and they're not Irish and all this sort of stuff. Well, the older I get, the more I say live and let live. So what if it's an American, mostly American events? So what if it celebrates Irish American pride rather than Irish Irish pride aren't there a lot more problems in the world to be dealing with than whether these things are are historically pinpoint, accurate? You know, as ST Stephen Stills used to say, If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.