Friday, March 4, 2011

The Wearing of the Green - Postcard Friendship Friday #53

Since Irish blood flows in my veins, I have always loved St. Patrick's Day.  I didn't appreciate the significance of the color Green until I read the stories of the Irish people's struggle for Freedom.   According to many historians the song The Wearing of The Green was written in the mid-1800's by an Irishman from Dublin, Dion Boucicault. 

After America's revolution, the Irish were inspired to seek independence for their own country.   Green became a symbol of sympathy for Irish independence.  I was astonished to discover that at that time in history, the British actually began executing persons found wearing anything green.  

There is nothing more fierce than an Irishman when riled.  The words to the song below are deeply moving.  I have an enduring love for the Irish--they are strong, loyal, plucky and fey.

The Wearing Of the Green (Lyrics)

O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that going round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
St. Patrick's Day no more we'll keep, his colours can't be seen,
For there's a bloody law against the wearing of the green.
I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?"
She's the most distressful counterie that ever yet was seen,
And they're hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.

Then since the colour we must wear is England's cruel red,
Sure Ireland's sons will ne'er forget the blood that they have shed.
You may take a shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,
It will take root and flourish there though underfoot it's trod.
When law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow,
And when the leaves in summer-time their verdure dare not show,
Then will I change the colour that I wear in my caubeen
But 'til that day, please God, I'll stick to wearing of the green.

But if at last our colour should be torn from Ireland's heart,
Our sons with shame and sorrow from this dear old isle will part;
I've heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea
Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom's day.
O Erin, must we leave you driven by a tyrant's hand?
Must we ask a mother's blessing from a strange and distant land?
Where the cruel cross of England shall nevermore be seen,
And where, please God, we'll live and die still wearing of the green!

NOTE:  I have looked everywhere online to find what the connection is between Saint Patrick's Day, the Irish, Ireland and Parrots, but I have been totally unsuccessful in my search.  If anybody out there knows why there are parrots on so many Irish postcards, I'd sure love to hear from you!

To see more wonderful postal stuff, visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory at Weekend Mailbox!


Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I wonder what is the significance of the parrot? I grew up in Dublin and Patrick's Day seemed to pass me by, apart from wearing shamrock. I don't remember any of these cards at all.

Dorincard said...

Now you make me find out what means plucky and fey. Good! :)

Joy said...

Ah the 40 shades of green. Beautiful country. I'm with Sheila in wondering about the significance of the parrot. Maybe like the Irish they are fine talkers:-)

Snap said...

Fun card. I love St. Paddy's Day! (Maybe because I love the color green??!!) Happy PFF!

Rachel said...

I LOVE the green St. Pat's card! What a great one. Thanks! Happy Friday!

Scrappy Grams said...

Oh, the sad history the song imparts! There's Irish somewhere back in my mom's heritage, but we haven't been able to find out just where. I'll be back for a visit, dear lady!

dakotaboo said...

Great postcard. Unfortunately I have nothing even vaguely releated to St. Patrick's today to share, but my PFF submission is up anyway. Happy PFF everyone.

Irene said...

Wonderful card, and great story.

Funoldhag said...

Love the sweet, funny lady! Cute card.

Deborah Swain said...

i think she looks a little like the actress Celia Imrie! btw...i DID discover that there's a type of parrot called the "New Ireland Pygmy Parrot" - but they live in the Solomon Islands!!

Blogaire said...

Loved the cards! I live in Dublin and the funny thing is St Patrick's Day cards are not very common here. But the day is becoming much more commercialized and the cards are slotting in nicely between Valentine's and Easter/Mother's Day cards.
I am not sure where the parrot comes into the story, but I watched a documentary about the canals that flow from Dublin to the Shannon river which related how children used to shout to the canal skippers as they sailed west out of the city 'bring us back a parrot'

Heather said...

I came visiting via A Postcard a Day. I'd like to join in on your Postcard Friendship Friday. Do we have to follow your theme, or do we chose our own?