YOU CAN NEVER BE IRISH EEN-OUGH

If you’re lucky enough to be Irish….you’re lucky enough! —Irish proverb

On St. Patrick’s Day, every man is an Irishman — if you disagree, get out of me sight and don’t come back until tomorrow! Besides, today me mind is not on Irish men, but on Irish lasses — coleens (or colleens), a word of Gaelic origin — specifically, coleens whose first name ends in een, as does me wife’s (Maureen).

One of the most famous Maureens is Irish-born Maureen O’Hara, the lovely red-headed actress who co-starred in my favorite John Wayne movie, THE QUIET MAN. This Academy Award-winning film, directed by Irish-born John Ford, is set in the fictional Irish village of Innisfree (the ending word in my last post SANCTUARY, from Wm. Butler Yeats’ poem LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE).

To me, the most Irish-sounding girl’s first name ending in een is Pegeen, a name I first heard of in Irish playwright John Millington Synge’s great THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, a wickedly funny play (later filmed in 1962) which, at its first performance in Dublin in 1907, caused a riot. Synge’s contemporary, W.B. Yeats, later wrote of the play, “It is never played before any Irish audience for the first time without something or other being flung at the players.” Pegeen is the name of the village barmaid, the heroine with “the divil’s own temper,” who is courted — and lost — by Christy Mahon, the “Playboy of the Western World.”

Another Irish een name I am fond of is Kathleen, heard in several Irish ballads, including KATHLEEN MAVOURNEEN and the beautifully poignant I’LL TAKE YOU HOME AGAIN, KATHLEEN:

Happy March seventeen!

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12 comments on “YOU CAN NEVER BE IRISH EEN-OUGH

  1. ladysighs says:

    It is a beautiful song. 🙂

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  2. Don Frankel says:

    “May your glass ever be full. May the roof over your head ever be strong.”
    And may we both be heaven for a half an hour before the Devil knows were dead.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day Muse.

    Did I ever tell you that I marched up 5th Avenue in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

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  3. mistermuse says:

    Same to ya, Don. I think you did mention marching in the Parade once, though I’m not sure I recall the details – was that when you went by the name Don O’Frankel?

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  4. arekhill1 says:

    For some reason my mother had a copy of a compilation titled “Great Irish Plays” and it included “The Playboy of the Western World.” II must have read it when I was twelve or thirteen. I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      I mentioned that the play was filmed (in Ireland) in 1962. I saw it once many years ago, but I don’t know if it’s still available. If it is, it’s well worth seeing.

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  5. mistermuse says:

    Ladysighs, though that song about Kathleen brings a tear to me eye whenever I hear it, I have an old 78 rpm record titled MAUREEN that brings TWO tears to me eye (sometimes even three, if she happens to read this). So, no problem.

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  6. Don Frankel says:

    Muse when I was a kid I peddled balloons in the streets and at all the Parades. The Macy’s is the most magical and the St. Patrick’s by far the happiest. Everyone is having a good time and no not because everyone is drinking most people are not. It’s just that everyone gets to be Irish.

    Long story short I tell my wife about this and I wished I could have marched in that Parade rather than any of the others. Well she’s not Irish either but she is a graduate of St. John’s and she belonged to a fraternal society there and well one day we get invited to march. So it was Hungarian Irish O’Frankel and Haitian Irish O’Belmar M.D. marching up 5th Avenue. It was awesome.

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    • mistermuse says:

      It does indeed sound like it was awesome, Don. As mentioned in my post, on St. Patrick’s day, every man (and woman) is an Irishman. But now it’s the day after, and I don’t know what you’re going to do for the next 364 days of Irishlessness. I guess you’ll just have to make the best of it.

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  7. I think Maureen and Pegeen and Kathleen are very sweet names but how about “Michaeleen?” I liked your posting and my daughter and her friend arrived for a visit on St. Patty’s Day. Sam is part Irish so I bought shamrock cupcakes for them. I marched in one parade in my hometown of Hatramck. It was sponsored by the Polish Alliance group. I was with my Girl Scout Troop #563. The parade route was several miles down the main street of Joseph Campau. I doubt if we had any Irish in our little town of about 25,000 people but they would have been very welcome if they were there.

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  8. mistermuse says:

    Well, I called you “me fine Mickaleen colleen” in my Monday morning (March 16) reply to one of your comments to my ABOUT THE BEGINNING post, so I trust that makes up for its absence in this post. After all, you’re of Polish descent, though I must admit Mickaleen sounds like an Irish name.

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