Hattip to Dale Price. Of course it is unfair to characterize Irish history as mere drunkenness. My sainted Mother had me listen to quite a bit of Irish music as I grew up, and I still enjoy it, and Irish ballads also feature these elements of the Irish careening through this Vale of Tears:
1. Be maniacally happy.
2. Be maniacally sad.
3. Blame the English for everything bad that has happened to the Irish.
4. Celebrate an Irishman who left Ireland as soon as he was able.
5. A celebration of the charms of rural Ireland written by someone who would have sooner died than leave Dublin.
6. Mention the IRA, without mentioning that during the 60’s many Irish said the letters actually stood for I Ran Away.
7. Be about the death of a beloved pet or child.
8. Idolize near alcoholism.
9. Mention Saint Patrick or a leprechaun.
10. Throw in a few Irish gaelic phrases for the singer to mispronounce.
Only a truly great people can laugh at themselves, and the Irish, throughout their travails, have always been a great people!