My father thought I couldn't do Irish right, since I don't hate the English. But as the great Irish hero Michael Collins said (at least in the movie), "Nothing good was ever built on hate.
My ex and his family ridiculed me for being Irish. They're a different ethnicity (I won't say which one) and thought Irish was a terrible, low-class thing to be. Did you know we're nothing but a bunch of rowdy, lazy, low-class prudish drunks? Gee, I didn't.
Well, let me tell you something -- I am freakin' PROUD to be Irish! Let me count the ways:
1. Ireland was the first nation to abolish slavery (during or shortly after the time of St. Patrick -- at least 1,100 years ago).
2. During the Dark Ages St. Patrick's order in Ireland kept learning alive in Europe.
3. The Irish were a force in building three nations -- Canada, Australia and the US.
4. At least half of American music has its roots in Ireland. Do you like country music? Thank Ireland. The influence of Irish music on American country and the music of other nations is broader than you think. Country artist Charlie Daniels is one of the purest Celtic fiddlers this country has produced (I wonder if he knows that?).
5. Irish graphic arts and poetry have incredible depth and beauty.
6. Ireland not only withstood 700 years of occupation, but persevered and eventually won her freedom. In fact, a friend once mentioned, "When Ireland was conquered." I held up a hand and said, "Ireland may have been invaded and occupied. She was NEVER conquered."
Am I getting sickening yet? Guess what? I don't care. I am beyond proud that the blood of Ireland fills my veins.
As a tribute to the home of my heart and heritage, here is The Soldiers' Song, the Irish national anthem: