The Patron Saint of Ireland
Died in the Fifth Century
On the Seventeenth of March
Is that Anniversary.

That day is during Lent
When the Irish celebrate
With dance and drink and feast
Of cabbage and bacon they ate.

The first Patty’s Day Parade
Was held in New York City
In Seventeen sixty-two
By Irish in the English Military.

Over the next thirty-five years
Immigration and “Irish Aid” grew
Where the Societies held parades
As drums beat and the bagpipes blew.

Up until the Great Potato Famine
In Eighteen forty-five came to pass
Most immigrants were Protestant
And came from the middle class.

But then to escape starvation
A million poor Catholics came here
Despised by their counterparts
Because of ignorance and fear.

Though, they soon began to organize
Saw their great numbers gave them power
And their voting block, the “green machine”
Became the swing vote of the hour.

The Parades became a show of strength
Where candidates vied for their vote
Many attended New York City’s
President Truman, one of note.

Now they celebrate around the World
To be part of the Irish scene
Last year one million went to Dublin
For the wearing of the green.

Once just a religious occasion
Of a barely known Holiday
But now, everyone is Irish
At least, for this one day.

Del “Abe” Jones © 2006

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