Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Dave Lally and James Bacon.

By James Bacon: St Patrick’s day in Dublin is about the parade, enjoying the festivities and watching the floats, full of costumes, colour and hours of effort.

This year in Dublin, to mark the celebrations, Mark Hamill has been asked to be a special guest, joining the dignitaries in the President’s stand on O’Connell St.

Hamill has traced some of his Irish heritage, his great-grandmother Elizabeth Keating from Kilkenny, his grandparents John Keating married Margaret Foley in Carlow Cathedral in 1822 and Mary Harvey was his great-great-grandmother, from a Famine immigrant family that settled in America.

Mark Hamill encourages people to visit Ireland, and this week, I hope Dublin 2019 has done that too, and especially to join us at Dublin 2019 An Irish Worldcon.

Our prices are increasing on the 3rd of April, and that is also an important cutoff date for those who supported the bid, Bid backers and Bid pre-supporters, as their discount ends. Further details here. https://dublin2019.com/join-us/upgrade-options/

We are acutely aware that for some members the Dublin Worldcon will be more than a Bus, Dart or Luas into town, or a Train or Coach up to Dublin, and so we have initiated an instalment plan this week, to help everyone who wants to, to come along by spreading the membership cost over a number of payments.

Details on the instalment plan are here: https://dublin2019.com/instalment-plan/

We also have a ‘First Worldcon rate’ for fans who have never been to Worldcon, and we are pleased to be welcoming over 100 of those fans already. If this is you, do get your ‘First Worldcon’ membership at the cheapest it will be, it too will rise on the 3rd of April.

We will also be launching a family rate, before the price rise. Do watch our social media for that.

As ever, it is helpful to Worldcons that people sign up, join up, indeed the more people that join earlier, the better we can plan, and be more effective with your money.

There are plans and preparations that can be made: checking the Passport is in date, or indeed ordering one; thin?k?ing about how the trip to the Dublin Worldcon in Ireland, in August 2019 can be part of a larger adventure, going around the country,

Do join us –  https://dublin2019.com/join-us/

Once the parade is over, I will be joining our Dublin 2019 treasurer amongst other fans, for a few pints watching Ireland play England in the six nations rugby championship and hopefully have another reason to keep my Irish eyes smiling. I hope you have a great day, whereever you are.

Very best and I hope you have a wonderful day.

8 thoughts on “Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Irish Eyes Are Smiling

  1. My grandfather visited Ireland in the 70s, and was in a pub with a band playing. He requested “MacNamara’s Band.” The bandleader looked at him contemptuously and said, “That song was written in Brooklyn!”

    The story comes back to me from time to time when I’m playing with the Irish jam that meets at the college here on Monday evenings. We just had our St. Patrick’s Day party, and for that we play a program of songs, along with our more typical waltzes, jigs, reels, hornpipes, slides, and airs. We were removing some items for reasons of time, and I advocated for excising ones that the pub band would have looked down on. Not all of them, of course: That would have left us nearly tacet. “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” is one that I would have left out, along with maybe “My Wild Irish Rose,” and “Come Back, Paddy Reilly.” I suggested a rule of thumb to the group: “If the song’s lyrics are mostly ‘Ireland, Ireland, Ireland,’ then the song was probably written over here.”

    Naturally, all these stayed in. At the last moment, we cut “The Wearing of the Green,” a real Irish street song that is an exception to my guideline in that it mentions Ireland by name, which I always enjoy singing. We did remove “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen,” the song Finnegan won’t stop singing in “Amok Time,” which was written by a German. I was happy enough to have “Clancy Lowered the Boom” in there, as it never pretended to be about anything but a ‘peaceful’ guy with an Irish name. In the past, I’ve sung that one (and most of the songs—a decision of our longtime leader who just retired to being our guru emeritus this year), but Jim took it on this time.

    I took to Photoshop to interline the lyrics with the tunes in all the vocal numbers, something I wish I’d done three years ago. Trying to sing and play while the words and music are in completely different parts of the page is a major pain.

  2. You’re confusing your Sturgeon scripts — Finnegan is in “Shore Leave”, not “Amok Time” — or your “xxx Time”s; the ST:TOS site says “Riley” (“Kevin Riley” in another script) sang in “The Naked Time”. (I remember “Amok Time” because I did a reading of it once; it’s not the sort of story where anyone has to say “No singing!”)

  3. Chip Hitchcock, thanks. There is actually a bit of comfort in the thought that I am beginning to forget some details of things I used to obsess over.

    Let’s see: I’d also like to forget some TV jingles from the 60s onward, some of my ancient grudges, and my most embarrassing moments.

  4. I’ll be celebrating by going to see Boiled in Lead in concert tonight (their 35th anniversary show, I believe). They have a bit of an sfnal connection — they were featured in Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks and did an album of songs for Steven Brust and Megan Lindholm’s The Gypsy.

  5. Kip W: We did remove “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen,” the song Finnegan won’t stop singing in “Amok Time,” which was written by a German.

    Hey, that’s one of the songs they sing in The Quiet Man — what could be a higher proof of Irishness than that?

  6. Well, it’s one that I have no problems with, regardless of the name of the writer. I don’t think the song’s explicitly intended to be Irish, it just turned out to appeal to the Irish, as well as to a lot of others.

    Now, MacNamara’s Band, on the other hand, they made us sing in sixth grade, and I did some of my earliest filking to that. Sample lyrics:

    Oh, I wear me em’rald coat and pants,
    Me hat and boots all green
    I’m the goofiest lookin’ China man
    That you have ever seen!

    Oh, we play at wakes an’ weddings
    And the music is something bad
    If two bits you pay to hear us play,
    Begorrah, you’ve been had!

    (Lyrics slightly adjusted with the passage of time.)

  7. @Kip W: I’ve forgotten most of the details (and never knew many of them, not having access to TV for the 3rd season), but to me the Sturgeon scripts stick out even given the range of SF experience writing TOS. Different things catch in different people’s minds.

  8. Chip Hitchcock: Certainly, I remember episodes and bits and lines (I will always remember the Space Hippies), but I seem to be shedding unnecessary detail. Maybe one day I’ll be able to watch them again with something of a fresh outlook.

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