Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and for a lot of people that means green beer and “Danny Boy”.   But I’m here to tell you . . . it’s all LIES!  Here are the five biggest myths about St. Patrick’s Day . . .

#1.)  ST. PATRICK WAS IRISH.

Nope. He may be the patron saint of Ireland, but he was from Britain.  Fifteen hundred years ago, he was kidnapped by raiders, taken to Ireland, and sold as a slave.

–He worked there for a few years, escaped, then returned to Ireland years later as a Christian missionary.

#2.)   ST. PATRICK IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE COLOR GREEN.

In fact, the color green used to be considered unlucky in Ireland.  In Irish folklore, people who wore green were kidnapped by little fairies called “the Good People.”

–Green became associated with St. Patrick because he used the green three-leafed shamrock to symbolize the holy trinity of Catholicism.

#3.)  IT’S A PARTY.

Today, that’s pretty much ALL we do to celebrate.  But in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was a national holiday for religious observance.  And until as recently as the 1970s, pubs there were closed on March 17th.

#4.)  “DANNY BOY” IS A FAMOUS IRISH SONG.

“Danny Boy” is probably the most famous “Irish” song.  There’s only one problem:  It was written by an English guy who never set foot in Ireland.

–His name was Frederick Weatherly, and he took some lyrics and set them to an Irish tune called the Londonderry Air”.  And the song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”?  It was written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff Junior . . . both American.

#5.) IRELAND IS ONE COUNTRY.

Probably best not to bring this one up at a crowded Irish bar, but before the English colonized America, they colonized Ireland.  And they screwed it up there too.

–In 1921, most of Ireland became its own country, with the capital in Dublin.  But six counties in the north remained part of the U.K., called Northern Ireland.  It was supposed to solve the troubles between the English and the Irish, but . . . not so much.

StPattyDay-full