Dear Kid,

Pull on the brakes and stop the presses because it turns out we’ve all been had.

The well-known Irish phrase “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya’” is well-known but not so Irish. It was invented by Hollywood to seem Irish.

And if that weren’t enough to stop your non-Irish eyes from smilin’, the well-known response “and the rest of the day to yourself” is also Hollywood fiction.

AND corned beef and cabbage is a distinctly Irish-American meal—quite probably borrowed from Jews in the neighborhood (in Ireland you’d be eating bacon, my friend).

The oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is in—wait for it—New York City.

Top o' the morning to ya' ... and the rest of the day to yourself.


On the “it’s real” side of things, the wearing of the green really did originate in Ireland in the 17th or 18th century. Except they didn’t wear green clothing, they wore shamrocks (to symbolize the trinity). It was a rebellious act by Catholics (Catholicism was forbidden) to show their defiance of the ruling class. On the other hand, the original color associated with St. P was blue, so go figure.

As for green beer, not so much in Ireland. It’s an American invention (which does nothing to improve the taste of beer or the people who drink it).

And finally, as for Saint Patrick having banished the snakes from Ireland? Well, this would be about equivalent to me banishing the zebras from our house. We don’t have any zebras (and Ireland hasn’t had snakes since before the glaciers) so getting rid of them isn’t a big trick.

Having said all that…Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Kiss Me I’m Irish, because today everyone is Irish.

Love, Mom