Ireland has been inhabited for the last twelve and a half millennia. There are more than six million people living on the emerald isle today, down from a peak of eight million in 1840, before the famine. By 1850, the Irish were a quarter of the population of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Buffalo. There are 40 million Irish people in the United States and they will all be marching up Fifth Avenue today, at least in spirit.
The Irish are known for being drunken and pugnacious but also for being poets, musicians, and dreamers. What is not as well known is that the Irish are the world’s greatest lovers. The French, Spanish, and Italian are renowned for being physical lovers. And we all know what happens when you go black. But the Irish are known for being spiritual lovers. They are good people to fall in love with, or to have fall in love with you. When an Irishman makes love to you he does it with his soul. The bodies involved are just pleasurable conduits to turn on and off while the souls dance the eternal ballet. In time bodies age, stiffen, and decay, but the love of an Irishman stays fresh.
Here’s a taste of some Irish love in the form of the traditional song “The Banks of the Lee” performed by Sarah McQuaid.
When two lovers meet down beside the green bower
When two lovers meet down beneath the green tree
When Mary, fond Mary, did say unto her lover
“You have stolen my poor heart from the Banks of the Lee”
For I loved her very dearly, so true and sincerely
There was no one in this wide world I love more than she
Every bush, every bower, every tree and every flower
Reminds me of my Mary, on the banks of the Lee.
“Don’t stay out late tonight on the moorlands, my Mary
Don’t stay out late tonight on the moorlands from me”
How little was our notion when we sailed upon the ocean
That we were forever parted from the Banks of the Lee
I will pluck my love some roses, some blooming Irish roses
I will pluck my love some roses, the finest that ever grew
And I will leave them on the grave of my own true lovely Mary
In the cold and silent churchyard where she sleeps ‘neath the dew