Irish it up for me! Thoughts on Irish soul

“The Irish are among a select few remaining on the earth in whom an alternative, soul-filled approach to ordinary living is still alive,” author Thomas Moore.

Soul may seem at odds with green beer and red hair. But Irish soul isn’t lofty. It’s rooted in real life.

Irish soul is tough and scrappy. It comes from a people whose pride kept them strong in the face of colonization. It helped them claw their way up from the bottom at Ellis Island.

Pride in my Irish soul swells my chest to this day.

The potato famine sent my ancestors across the pond and we made our way to Queens, NY.

We worked with our hands until the mechanic and mailman (my grandfathers) met their wives in the vicinity of Steinway Street.

It was then and there that the life I know took hold and a huge family started to bloom.

Essentially, my life has been one long family party.

With more than 50 cousins, there was always an occasion to get together.

Parties were done right and anything done right was institutionalized.

My parents hosted Christmas Eve parties. Christmas Day was at one aunt’s house and Easter was held at my other aunt’s. Uncles hosted the summer barbeques.

But we weren’t just partying. We were strengthening family bonds, continuing traditions and nurturing new branches of the family tree as it grew.

Considering the “deep soul” of the Irish, Thomas Moore writes, “It basks in tradition and finds its heaven in family…”

The majority of my large family stayed close over the years. Even family members who moved away stayed in touch because of the love we have for one another. It was visible at each party.

There was love for the ones who needed a ride; love for the ones who outdid themselves with the preparations; love for the ones who always came.

Because of the love we have for one another and the high priority we place on family, favorite drinks were on hand and the spare bed was always offered.

Everyone had the chance to hand their coffee back to the host without worry and say, “Irish it up for me.”


About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
This entry was posted in family, Irish, soul, St. Patrick's Day, The Joy of Life, Thomas Moore, traditions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Irish it up for me! Thoughts on Irish soul

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post! Mind if I link on my blog? I’m sure my Irish family would heartily approve… ; )


  2. Gene Myers says:

    Link away! THanks!

  3. Most excellent post! I’ll be linking to my blog as well, if you don’t mind… Slainte! my fellow Irishman! Éirinn go Brách

  4. You don’t have to post this one… just wanted to tell you, it’s good to know that there are still some good poets here in NJ… we need more words for the soul here…

  5. Go raibh mile maith agat ~ Thank you very much for the post. We’re all Irish on St. Paddy’s Day. Then we have a few drinks and we’re all South Boston Irish.

  6. Hi Gene, Wonderful remembrance and celebration. My father’s parents came to the Midwest from Sweden. Poppa Ernie worked on the railroad. I can still smell the coffee and homemade bakery in Nanna’s kitchen. They settled in Milwaukee. My mother, who was German, loved your Irish poets! Ellen

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