Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Ahh St. Patrick's day.
The one day a year when everyone who couldn't point to Ireland on a map puts on a green hat to eulogize about their great-great-great-great-uncle 35 times removed.
He was born somewhere in Ireland, they think.
In case you doubt anything I say, here's proof that me and him go way back.
Obviously that was a flimsy excuse to use that picture, and the fact that I'm neither a Catholic, nor a binge drinker should probably hint that the holiday doesn't mean all that much to me personally.
He was still though, the Catholic Primate of All Ireland, establishing his church in the City of Armagh. Armagh is since referred to as the "City of St. Patrick", and has a decent museum called St. Patrick's Trian.
I was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, about seventeen miles outside Armagh City itself.
Patrick the Sinner, as many refer to him, due to his having written The Confession of St. Patrick, is buried at Down Cathedal, twenty-nine miles east of where I grew up.
This past summer, on a break from filming the next music video, the band visited his grave.
Not being a Catholic, or a Christian of any type, I can say that The Confession of Saint Patrick is the most poetic and moving piece of Catholic literature I've read. It echoes some humanity for once.
"...I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught; yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop. I am certain in my heart that "all that I am," I have received from God. So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God..."
Did he coin the famous expression "For the love of God!" in this confession?
There was much dispute over whether Armagh or Dublin was the most senior seat of the church in Ireland until 1353 when Pope Innocent VI ruled that because Patrick had established himself as Archbishop in Armagh, that Armagh would be known definitively as Primate of All Ireland, and Dublin to be known as Primate of Ireland, a title of less seniority than Archbishop of Armagh.
I happen to think that establishing Catholicism in Ireland was altogether a bad thing, and that the Island gets markedly better the less and less religious it becomes. Patrick noted in his confession that pre-Christian Ireland was a savage place, and I would maintain that the worst savagery I have ever seen in my life has been perpetrated exclusively by the religious in Ireland, and County Armagh perhaps in particular. It is explained, condoned and pan-handled away by the appointed leaders of Christianity, who have yet to take responsibility. If Patrick had been alive to witness the state of Ireland in 2015, I don't see how he could be happy with the results of his good intentions.
But, drink up anyway.
There will be a lot of terrible songs played & sung about Ireland today, but here's the best one written about Ireland, by someone not from Ireland.
The better version of "Belfast to Boston" is the one above, but below James Taylor offers some explaination of the song before playing it. Pay close attention to the words.