The Birth of St. Patrick

On the eighth day of March it was, some people say,
That Saint Pathrick at midnight he first saw the day;
While others declare 'twas the ninth he was born,
And 'twas all a mistake between midnight and morn;
For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock,
And some blam'd the babby—and some blam'd the clock—
Till with all their cross-questions sure no one could know
If the child was too fast—or the clock was too slow.
Now the first faction fight in owld Ireland, they say,
Was all on account of Saint Pathrick's birthday;
Some fought for the eighth—for the ninth more would die,
And who wouldn't see right, sure they blacken'd his eye!
At last both the factions so positive grew,
That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two,
Till Father Mulcahy, who showed them their sins,
Said, "No one could have two birthdays, but a twins."
Says he, "Boys, don't be fightin' for eight or for nine,
Don't be always dividin'—but sometimes combine;
Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark,
So let that be his birthday." "Amen," says the clerk.
"If he wasn't a twins, sure our hist'ry will show
That, at least, he's worth any two saints that we know!"
Then they all got blind dhrunk—which complated their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.

Selections from Dick's Irish Dialect Recitations, edited by Wm. B. Dick, New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, Publishers 1879

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Graphics copyright 1997 Kathleen A. O'Connell