Saint Patrick of Ireland, My Dear!
DESCRIPTION: The singer recalls St Patrick's miracles while the liquor holds out: he arrived mounted on "a paving stone," drank a gallon of liquor from a quart pot, turned mutton to salmon on Friday, and drove out the snakes.
AUTHOR: Dr Maginn (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
EARLIEST DATE: 1821 (_Blackwoods Magazine_, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: drink food Ireland humorous supernatural
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 28-33, "St Patrick of Ireland, My Dear!" (1 text)
cf. "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" (tune, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
NOTES: Croker-PopularSongs discusses the miracles in some detail. Apparently, it was not Patrick himself but a leprous disciple -- refused passage on Patrick's ship by the crew -- who accompanied the ship on Patrick's stone altar thrown into the sea as a float for the purpose. Patrick, at one point, craves meat on Friday but an apparition has Patrick put the meat into water; when the meat turned into fishes Patrick was saved by the miraculous sign from sinning and never ate meat again. Dr Maginn's source for the "facetious" [Croker's term] song is Father Jocelyn who, Croker points out, did not mention the "miracle of the Saint's 'never-emptying can, commonly called St Patrick's pot'." In the last verse the singer wishes that he had such a pot so that he could continue the song. - BS
According to Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, Dr. William Maginn (1793-1842) was the "Prototype of Captain Shandon in Pendennis by Thackeray." The New Century Handbook of English Literature lists him as the co-founder of Fraser's Magazine, and mentions among his works The City of Demons and Bob Burke's Duel with Ensign Bray. His most popular poem was probably "I Give My Soldier Boy a Blade," though I find myself more intrigued by the title "the Rime of the Auncient Waggonere." - RBW
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