Okay, I admit it! I’m giving in to temptation. I tried and tried to wait until next week so that I could legitimately say we only had a month to St. Patrick’s Day, but finally it just got to be too much. I had to post the start of the seasonal bacchanalia that we humbly call March.
Now, you must understand. I don’t drink, nor does anyone in my family, so I mean bacchanalia only in the “party” sense, not the drink till you pass out sense. But it can still be fun!
We party all month. Celtic music plays whenever we have our iPods playing. We watch Irish movies (more than usual), we go to performance after performance for my daughter’s dance school, we go to a parade, and we have a big party. We don’t eat much green food or anything, but we definitely have corned beef at least once (plus leftovers — although it turns out that’s not really Irish-Irish), and last year we had a traditional Irish breakfast that was so lovely, I think we shall make it an annual tradition.
I will be doing posts on all these different aspects of the holiday, so please stay tuned to this blog for ideas and fun things happening all month, including at least one giveaway and maybe more, depending if I can find something marvelous to give. In fact, I’ll start the giveaway right away. Anyone who comments on my blog through this week, until the St. Patrick’s Day post part 2 gets put up next Friday will be entered in a drawing for a small gift, a set of St. Patrick’s Day stickers. Considering how few comments I get normally, your chances are pretty good. If you comment more than once, you get additional entries.
Today, I wanted to talk very briefly about some great Irish movies you may or may not have seen. Of course, as in all things, you can probably find your own list with just a simple internet search, but I’d like to at least make a few recommendations. These aren’t in any particular order of preference, but they’re all ones we’ve seen and enjoyed.
1. Jig. I mentioned this two weeks ago when I talked about Irish dancing, but I’ve got to throw it out there again. This really is an enjoyable movie. It is about Irish dancing, true, but it’s got drama and pathos and jealousy and class warfare and the whole gamut of human emotions played out on the Worlds stage. If you aren’t cheering and holding your breath at the end, you’re not human, I promise. Again, here’s the trailer.
2. The Quiet Man. I’m sure this makes everyone’s list when it comes to Irish movies, but it’s worth mentioning again. This is a great John Wayne movie, filmed in Cong, Ireland, and it’s really authentic. There’s beautiful scenery, the accents are gorgeous, the story is great, and really, can you pass up John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara? I don’t think so!
3. The Wind that Shakes the Barley. This is not a movie for the faint of heart; it is an honestly-told story of the Irish Civil War in the 1920s and it has a lot of violence and inhumanity in it. However, it is a well-made movie and I don’t think you can watch it without being moved. If you remember my post about the Irish National Anthem a while back, they sing it here while one of their buddies is being tortured to give him support and let him know they’re aware of him. That is a powerful scene, but there are others. Cillian Murphy stars in it, and he does a marvelous job. This movie isn’t technically rated, but I would probably give it a hard PG-13 or soft R for violence.
4. Last but not least, Waking Ned Devine. This is, in my humble opinion, an absolute must-see for everyone! It is a comedy and I think it actually got on a list or won some sort of award for the funniest scene ever put on film. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it. But along with the humor, there is a great story with a lot of poignancy and beauty. You will laugh the first few times through. It takes a while to see the subtler message underneath. Anyway, the music is also “Devine” . . . . and my husband insists that the closing song of the movie should be sung at his funeral. I’m not sure it will happen, but it is a beautiful, beautiful song. This has classic dry British humor, a great story, a great message, great music, and it’s great for the whole family. Really, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Okay, don’t forget to leave a comment for the drawing and come back next week for another countdown to St. Patrick’s Day!