There’s an old Irish poem called “The Mouse on the Barroom Floor” that seems particularly apt to quote as we approach St. Patrick’s Day:
Some Guinness was spilled on the barroom floor, when the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse and stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor, then back on his haunches he sat.
And all night long you could hear him, “Bring on the goddamn cat!”
While St. Paddy’s day tends to bring out our inner mouse, the holiday is also a time to celebrate Irish history and cultures — as well as their love of a fine drink. And though we are some 6,000 miles from Éire, there is plenty of traditional music and dance to be found in our seaside town. What follows is a quick course in Irish customs that includes songs, recipes, book excerpts, and trivia. Sláinte.