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St. Patrick's Is a weird holiday and we USA folks are weird people.


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OK, later this month we have 5 St Patty Parties (we call it our annual Patty Melt). Last year we had a new song requested.

Most of the songs we play for the retirement crowd at a Patty Melt party are either Irish, written by an Irish American, or written by a non-Irish American.

But all traditional Patty songs are about either real or imaginary Ireland or people who came to America from Ireland.

Last year we had a few requests for "The Unicorn Song" Now this song:

1) Was written by a Jewish guy from Chicago (the brilliant Shel Silverstein)

2) Has absolutely nothing to do with Ireland

3) Has nothing to do wit Irish people

4) The subject about a biblical flood that happened in Mesopotamia which is present day Iraq

5) Was made famous by a band comprised of Canadian Citizens who happened to call themselves the Irish Rovers (although there is some Irish birth)

With real Irish artists/bands like U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, Dropkick Murphys, Dubliners, Cranberries, Pogues, and others, how did this Canadian Band singing a Jewish song set in the Mid-East get to be a St Patty song when these other fine artists who are really from Ireland are ignored?

St. Patrick's day is a strange holiday and we US Americans are strange people who seem to take everything to an extreme. Thank you Irish diaspora for this celebration, I'll be wearing some green. I was French on Mardi Gras last Tuesday.

Of course, this is all meant in fun and not really a minor rant. I'm making a backing track for it today. If they wanna hear it, and it'll help their party, we wanna play it.

Insights, incites and a little grin by Notes

Edited by Notes_Norton
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When I turned 40 I got out of the crazy bars and went into the Yacht Club / Country Club / Condominium / Retirement Development end of the business. It's the biggest and most profitable market for us here in South Florida.

There will be no green beer, but there will be cabbage and corned beef served. There will be married couples from 40 to pre-hospice folks and plenty of widows depending on which of the 5 gigs we are at (I give the retirement complexes a discount if they hire us before the actual holiday - that way I get to work more).

The party where the Unicorn Song was requested is one we've been hired at for years. The woman who requested it is probably in her late 30s or early 40s. (She probably a mither who sang it to her wee ones.) I explained it was written by a Jewish guy about the Biblical Great Flood in Iraq and she responded, "I don't care, it's fun." so I told her we would have it next year.

If either a regular customer requests a song, or if I get a lot of requests for a song, I'll learn it if I think I can cover it.

It's how I make my living, and it's certainly better than any day job I can think of.

Songs like "Unicorn" are to me the musical equivalent of Junk Food. They aren't challenging, they have little nutritional value, but they are fun to play. It's like eating potato chips.

So this Patty Melt we will sing a song written by a Jewish guy from Chicago for a Children's Album about the Middle East made popular by Canadian Citizens with some birth before immigration in Ireland and have a great time while the audience stumbles over the humpty-back camel B section.

I might even do some shtick, ask them to be in our background singing group, "The Mormon Bait And Tackle Choir" and encourage them to sing. Of course, I'll tell them, "If you can't remember the words, do what the pros do --- mumble."

And James G, yes the Irish is Paddy, but here in the USA most people call it St. Patty's day, and it's easier on the audience if I agree rather than educate. Besides, our annual "Patty Melt" is a better pun than "Paddy Melt".  ;) I told you USA people are just plain weird (myself DEFINITELY included).

BTW, I live in a state populated by alligators, I've seen thousands of them, and never a green one. But perhaps they dress in green on St Patrick's day - I wouldn't know, I'm always gigging on that day :D

Insights, incites and a little silliness by Notes


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6 hours ago, craigb said:

You might as well add Puff the Magic Dragon (since magic supposedly has an Irish connotation with Leprechauns, etc.).  😆

Not unless they ask for it :D

But if they do, we'll do the best puff we can.

Fortunately a half dozen or so of the standards (McNamara, Danny, Wild Rose, Irish Eyes, Harrigan, Great Day, Peg, Molly Malone, Lullaby) and the Unicorn will be more than enough. The rest will be pop music from the 60s to the present (depending on the crowd). I suspect mostly "baby boomer" era songs with some modern crossovers.

A couple of corny jokes like:

Did you hear about the two gay Irishmen?

Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald.


Insights, incites and some very lame humor by Notes

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The people I have known that were the greatest drinkers were from Argentina. The put the Irish to shame.

I was playing at a bar near the Palm Beach Polo club. The people who handled the horses in the stables were from Argentina.

On payday they would simply put their cashed paychecks on the bar. When the glass was empty the bartender refilled and took the money off the pile. In the unlikely event the customer didn't want another drink, he would put a cocktail napkin over the glass.

If one of the standing patrons fell, others would help him up, and someone would surrender a bar stool so he could keep drinking.

And in all of this, there was never-ever any fights or violence.

I've known some Irish drinkers, but these guys were the all-time champs.

Insights and incites by Notes

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29 minutes ago, James G said:

I very much doubt that David Kelly was Welsh.

(lick o' paint, one hour)

Mebbe he got him mixed up with the David Kelly that mysteriously "committed suicide" after suggesting that Tony Bliar wasn't being totally honest. I think he was Welsh.

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I can relate,  playing in a German polka band for 10 years. Our most requested song . . . Roll Out the Barrel. Requests for Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog or Moon River. Seriously?

Wouldn't you like to hear something German?

Do you realize its Oktoberfest, not a wedding?

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5 hours ago, Andy Pomeroy said:

I can relate,  playing in a German polka band for 10 years. Our most requested song . . . Roll Out the Barrel. Requests for Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog or Moon River. Seriously?

Wouldn't you like to hear something German?

Do you realize its Oktoberfest, not a wedding?

Ohhhhhhhh!!!  Well, in THAT case, how about a stirring rendition of the Chicken Dance???  🤣

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