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Beannachtai na Feile Padraig

I have little to add, fortunately for you, to previous years’ thoughts on the St Patrick’s day holiday other than to say that, as usual, I’m like a little kid on Christmas eve. Can’t wait to wander around downtown to the accompaniment of traditional Irish music, and for a day of all around revelry.

My day’s likely to begin surprisingly early as I’m in theory headed up to Winter Park to fish the north fork of Clear Creek at 8. Once returned from there, I’ve got the season’s inaugural wiffle match lined up at an elementary school field up in the Highlands (hope the time strengthening my throwing shoulder with a medicine ball pays off, as it’s been clicking more than normal). From there I’ll head straight over to Cap City for some early afternoon beers with another friend of mine.

My evening plans are somewhat less structured, in part because my original plan of hosting people here was doomed by a lack of organization on my part, but also on account of the dearth of Irish establishments here in Denver. Unlike, say, Boston, where’s there’s almost an Irish pub per block, Denver sports surprisingly few: Fado’s next to Coors Field, which is good but a chain, Nawlins, just up the street from me and a bit more traditional but not huge, McLoughlin’s, over in Riverfront Park across the way and also fairly small, and the Irish Snug which is up on Colfax. The unfortunate consequence of this particular scarcity is that every single one of these venues is sure to be jammed; Fado’s in particular usually sets up tents to accommodate the inevitable surplus of bodies.

At the end of the day, though, like any other special occasion, the day should be more about the people you spend it with than the establishment you spend it in. Which is a fancy way of saying that as long as I get to hang with friends, I don’t particularly care where I spend it.

To assist in your enjoyment of the day, I’ll reprint my traditional St. Patrick’s playlists. Whatever your schedule sees doing, be sure to be safe – all the more so if you’re drinking. Remember that while the Irish word for whiskey, uisce beatha, means “water of life,” the Navajo term, tódilhil, means “water of darkness.”

Traditional:

(as for artists, I recommend Makem and Clancy, but the Dubliners, Chieftains and others do very capable renditions of all of the tracks below)

1. Gallant Forty-Twa
2. Jug of Punch
3. The Moonshiner
4. The Bold Tenant Farmer
5. Beer, Beer, Beer
6. Water is Alright in Tay
7. Drink it Up Men
8. All for Me Grog
9. The Wild Colonial Boy
10. Whack for the Diddle
11. Reilly’s Daughter
12. The Jolly Tinker
13, Red Haired Mary
14. Finnegan’s Wake
15. Johnny McAdoo
16. Isn’t it Grand Boys
17. Whiskey You’re the Devil
18. Bog Down in the Valley
19. Take Me up to Monto
20. A Nation Once Again

Contemporary:

1. Rebels of the Sacred Heart – Flogging Molly
2. Boys on the Docks – Dropkick Murphy’s
3. Sea Shanty – The Pogues
4. Nil na La – SOLAS
5. Tomorrow Comes a Day Too Soon – Flogging Molly
6. The Irish Rover – The Pogues
7. Drops of Brandy – Finbar & Eddie Furey
8. Caught in a Jar – Dropkick Murphy’s
9. The Flowing Bowl – SOLAS
10. The Ol’ Beggars Bush – Flogging Molly
11. The Yellow Tinker – SOLAS
12. Quart of Gin – The Prodigals
13. I Ain’t Marching Anymore – 4 to the Bar
14. Forever – Dropkick Murphy’s

P.S. Some of you may be pushed against your will to eat the “traditional Irish” meal of corned beef and cabbage tomorrow. If you, like me, don’t care for either corned beef or cabbage, just remind the pusher(s) that it is most certainly not a traditional Irish meal. It was, rather, what Irish immigrants like my own ancestors were compelled to eat, mostly due to cost concerns. Stick with the brown soda bread and stew; it’s not only more authentic, it tastes a lot better. For the Boston residents, hit the bakeries in Southie; they all make the real brown Irish bread – it’s tremendous.

Categories: Personal.