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  • mistermuse 3:13 pm on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Irish coleen, , , Maureen O'Hara, Playboy of the Western World, , The Quiet Man   


    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!

    • ladysighs 4:49 pm on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It is a beautiful song. ūüôā


      • mistermuse 7:30 pm on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        It is indeed, ladysighs — and if you promise not to tell anyone, I’ll confess it brings a tear to me eye whenever I hear it. ūüė¶


        • ladysighs 5:07 am on March 18, 2015 Permalink

          I guess you mean not to tell anyone about Kathleen? Especially not your Maureen?? ūüôā

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:48 pm on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “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?


    • mistermuse 7:40 pm on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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?


    • arekhill1 9:01 pm on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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 6:35 am on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        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.


    • mistermuse 6:27 am on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • Don Frankel 7:35 am on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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.


      • mistermuse 12:36 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        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.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:04 am on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • mistermuse 12:26 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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.


  • mistermuse 12:00 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Book of Kells, , , , Importance of Being Earnest, , , , , , Playboy of the Western World, , satiric masterpieces, St. Patrick, ,   


    I¬†contemplated¬†concluding this four-part series with¬†thoughts and¬†reminisences on¬†my tour of¬†the Emerald Isle some thirty years ago, but I have so many fond memories that I¬†lack the time, and perhaps¬†the words, to do them justice.¬†Besides, recounting personal vacation trips is a dubious proposition¬†of boring¬†potential¬†at best, so I’ll spare you (and me) the task, and go instead¬†with a¬†few swigs¬†of¬†St. Patrick’s Day¬†trivia and a wee bit of Irish Lit, writ¬†and wit.

    Let’s start with St. Patrick himself. One might assume that St. Patricks Day is celebrated on March 17 because that’s his birthday, but in fact,¬†his exact birth date is unknown. March 17 is¬†the day he died (in the year¬†461).

    The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in NYC on March 17, 1762. For¬†more on this and other things Irish, click on these short video clips:


    As for Irish Lit, one of the earliest surviving manuscripts is the painstakingly crafted and astonishingly beautiful Book of Kells (circa 800), which I had the pleasure of viewing at Dublin’s Trinity College Library. See for yourself at:


    Ireland, of course, has produced some of the greatest satirists and masterpieces of wit¬†in history, including Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion, on which My Fair Lady is based), and John Millington Synge (The Playboy of the Western World). Excellent movies (and¬†some not-so-excellent re-makes)¬†have been¬†made of¬†all, and¬†I close with a quote or a clip from each:

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his God, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.¬† –Gulliver’s Travels (1939)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eymdx4xomM¬† –The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADz07k_wXU¬† –Pygmalion (1938)

    …if it’s a poor thing to be lonesome, it’s worse maybe to go mixing with the fools of earth.¬† –The Playboy of the Western World (1962)

    May this St. Patrick’s Day find you neither lonesome nor with the fools of earth.

    • arekhill1 1:45 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Been years since I read the Playboy of the Western World. thanks for reminding me of it.


    • mistermuse 4:07 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I own a two-record (33 1/3 rpm) box set of the play recorded by Cyril Cusack (who played the playboy) Productions of Dublin in 1955. The accompanying booklet relates how the play’s first performance in Dublin in 1907 caused a riot because, as the Irish Times wrote, “the majority of theatregoers are not accustomed to remoreless truth.” The 1911 American premiere caused “one of the noisiest rows ever seen in a New York theatre.”

      I find it extremely interesting that one of the play’s champions was none other than ex-President Teddy Roosevelt, who wrote that “The little crowd of denaturalized Irishmen who tried to prevent the performance of The Playboy of the Western World by the Irish players in New York City have succeeded in doing precisely what was needed to bring the play to public attention.”

      How much, and yet how little, people and times have changed since then.

      Liked by 1 person

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