Saturday, March 17, 2007


Happy St Patrick's Day folks!

Guinness, shamrocks, parades, colours, silly hats, wobbly-legged citizens - you gotta love St Patrick's Day.

It seems like this is an unusually sporty St Patrick's Day too.

The rugby Six Nation's championship comes to a climax today with Ireland facing Italy in Rome while the other big contenders France and England are also in action.

If, as expected, Ireland, France and England all win, the championship will be decided on points. So let's hope the Irish team can give the Italians a stuffing and give ourselves a great chance of success! I think it will be a tough game for Ireland but I hope we can get the job done.

I was amused to learn that 17,000 Ireland supporters will descend on the Stadio Flaminio in Rome, capitalising on an error in the Italian Rugby Federation's ticket selling procedures which will basically turn the 25,000 capacity ground into an Irish home game! Ah well it's Paddy's Day so maybe the stadium would have filled out in green regardless!

In other news, the Ireland cricket team, who have been making quite a name for themselves in the Cricket World Cup having tied a game with the Zimbabwe side, today play Pakistan and hope to pull off an upset. Cricket's not big over here and like most Irish people I don't know much about the game but I hope it proves a good day for the Irish lads.

Since today is primarily about celebrating Irish culture, I figured I'd post up some videos below of some of my favourite Irish songs that I found on Youtube...

Cara Dillon does the great Irish song, She Moved Through the Fair, better than anyone else I've ever heard. Here is her great rendition of the song from a live performance in Hamburg, Germany. Well worth a listen.

This is an interesting one. It's Amhran na bhFiann, the Irish national anthem, sung in English. I'd never heard it sung in English before but I found it pretty catchy all the same!

This is a song called The Town I Loved So Well by Phil Coulter. He wrote the song to lament the fact his peaceful home of Derry had become a major military outpost. Here the song is performed by Luke Kelly and The Dubliners. No one does Irish ballads better for my money. Fantastic song and sung with great passion.

This is one of my favourite Irish songs Down by the Salley Gardens which was written largely by the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats. This video comes with many Japanese images. Apparently the song was covered in Japan and has become quite popular there as a result. I've no idea who is singing this version of the song but whoever she is, she sings it superbly. Another one I'd advise you to give a listen to.

This is another great ballad called Four Green Fields. It was written by Tommy Makem and is an allegory for the invasion and partition of the island. This version is sung by Brian Roebuck. I've been listening to this one a lot. Really great song and this is as good a version of it as you will ever hear.

Here is perhaps the most well known of the toe-tapping Irish tunes - The Irish Rover. This is the version done by The Dubliners and The Pogues which is unquestionably the best version in my opinion.

Another Irish tune sung here by Luke Kelly and The Dubliners (can you tell I like them?) called The Wild Rover. This is THE definitive Irish drinking song. "And it's no, nay, never, No, nay, never, no more!"

I thought I'd finish with a real treat. This song is a humorous traditional song, here sung by The Dubliners from 1967, called Seven Drunken Nights. The video to this though, done in puppet animation, is equally as outstanding as the song. Watch this and have a right laugh. I'm glad I stumbled upon this one on Youtube!

The above videos will certainly go down well with a nice pint of Guinness. Enjoy them and enjoy the day too.

You might also fancy having a go at the St Patrick's Day quiz I wrote up last year.

Happy St Patrick's Day everybody and remember to drink responsibly!


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