I have spent a little bit of time helping get our church website ready for the next couple of weeks. Bishop and Pastor are trying to not only be careful to protect our members, especially our older members, from this sickness but they are also trying to be good citizens and show proper respect for the authorities who have asked that people not congregate in large groups. My part in helping was not a big one, and the work is continuing, but I helped a bit. You can see it and hear it here.
I have a couple of other things in the works as well. One thing I am working on is the story of Esther. I taught it a couple of weeks ago in Sunday School and was going to share it with you in one entry, but it’s too much. there is a lot in the story, especially if you are going to tell it in such a way as to make it interesting. (You can actually cheat and read ahead in the Bible and read the book of Esther for yourself. It’s only ten chapters and filled with action all the way through. I promise you won’t be disappointed.) And I have two other stories in the works as well. I think Esther is an appropriate subject for Women’s History Month. I mean, she only rescued a whole race of people.
But, back to being Irish. I knew for a long time that my maternal grandmother’s family came over from Ireland during one of the Potato Famines and since my wife has been working on the genealogy we’ve found more from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales, so I think I am as American-Irish as anyone else who claims it. I wrote a post, years ago, 3/17/05, to be exact, about the prejudices that were faced by the Irish during the 1800s. It was called No Irish Need Apply and even though I researched it fairly well, the original sites I had used and quoted in the piece are gone. None of the links exist anymore. Also, if you go and read it, please realize that I am quoting historical documents. I don’t use that language and was taught and have taught others that the “N” word is a swear word.
I also don’t drink. God saved me from that demon many years ago. It’s annoying that A day that could be used to educate people about the awesome and incredible contributions that the Irish have made to civilization is wasted on green beer. And why isn’t March, Irish History Month? There is much to be learned from the Irish experience in America, just like there is much to be learned from the Black or German or Italian or Catholic or Native American experiences. Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
Here is a song that was written in 1862 about the feelings of the Irish at the time. The words, copied out from a broadside sheet, follow.
NO IRISH NEED APPLY.
Written by JOHN F. POOLE, and sung, with immense success, by the great Comic-Vocalist of the age, TONY PASTOR.
I’m a dacint boy, just landed from the town of Ballyfad;
I want a situation: yis, I want it mighty bad.
I seen employment advartised. It’s the thing for me, says I;
But the dirty spalpeen ended with: No Irish need apply.
Whoo! says I; but that’s an insult — though to get the place I’ll try.
So, I wint to see the blaggard with: No Irish need apply.
Some do think it a misfortune
To be christened Pat or Dan
But to me it is an honor
To be called an Irishman
I started off to find the house, I got it mighty soon;
There I found the ould chap saited: he was reading the TRIBUNE.
I tould him what I came for, whin he in a rage did fly:
No! says he, you are a Paddy, and no Irish need apply!
Thin I felt my dandher rising, and I’d like to black his eye–
To tell an Irish Gintleman: No Irish need apply!
I couldn’t stand it longer: so, a hoult of him I took,
And I gave him such a welting as he’d get at Donnybrook.
He hollered: Millia murther! and to get away did try,
And swore he’d never write again: No Irish need apply.
He made a big apology; I bid hlm thin good-bye,
Saying: Whin next you want a bating, add: No Irish need apply!
Sure, I’ve heard that in America it always is the plan
That an Irishman is just as good as any other man;
A home and hospitality they never will deny
The stranger here, or ever say: No Irish need apply.
But some black sheep are in the flock: a dirty lot, say I;
A dacint man will never write: No Irish need apply!
Sure, Paddy’s heart is in his hand, as all the world does know,
His praties and his whiskey he will share with friend or foe;
His door is always open to the stranger passing by;
He never thinks of saying: None but Irish may apply.
And, in Columbia’s history, his name is ranking high;
Thin, the Divil take the knaves that write: No Irish need apply!
Ould Ireland on the battle-field a lasting fame has made;
We all have heard of Meagher’s men, and Corcoran’s brigade.
Though fools may flout and bigots rave, and fanatics may cry,
Yet when they want good fighting-men, the Irish may apply,
And when for freedom and the right they raise the battle-cry,
Then the Rebel ranks begin to think: No Irish need apply