AWSI Musings: Letting the Irish Storytelling Tradition Lead This St. Patty’s Day…

So here we are… a St. Patrick’s Day that lands on a Friday which pretty much means party all week and weekend.

We love this picture. Definitely fits the ice box humor category.

Don’t get us wrong, we heart the Guinness here (thanks to Dossie’s strong connection to the brand), but we were thinking that settling into some Irish-related storytelling ponderables would be a cool way to embrace this particular holiday.

A Book:

Did you know that fifth-century Irish monks were instrumental in preserving almost all of what has survived of Western classical poetry, history, oratory, and philosophy. Human Xerox machines, they were.

Thomas Cahill wrote a fantastic book called “How the Irish Saved Civilization” (subtitled: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe) which tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era.

Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization — copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost — they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

You might want to add it to your “to read” list. Cahill’s writing style is very engaging. The story is, in a word, fascinating.

Some Films:

We love storytelling and these three are awesome (though incredibly hard to find).

Into the West is a 1992 Irish magical film written by Jim Sheridan and directed by Mike Newell.

We’re rolling with this Wikipedia description:

Into the West is a film about two young boys, Tito (Conroy) and Ossie (Fitzgerald), whose father “Papa” Reilly (Byrne) was “King of Irish Travellers” until his wife, Mary, died during the birth of their second son, Ossie.[3] The boys’ grandfather (David Kelly) is an old story-telling Traveller, who regales the children with Irish folk-tales and legends. When he is followed by a beautiful white horse called Tír na nÓg (meaning “Land of Eternal Youth” in Irish), from the sea to Dublin, where the boys and their father have now settled down in a grim tower block in Ballymun, the boys are overwhelmed with joy and dreams of becoming cowboys. The horse is stolen from them and they begin their adventure to get their mystical horse back. They escape the poverty of a north Dublin council estate, and ride “Into the West” where they find that Tír na nÓg is not just a horse.

Great for multiple viewings. Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite.

The Secret of Roan Inish by John Sayles is the complete package — storytelling on multiple levels that’s engaging and truly resonates.

The imagery in the film is fantastic. In particular, we remember hands… very productive hands.

By the way, the soundtrack is fantastic!

One more for the road, so to speak. We bring you “The Commitments”. Great film and soundtrack!

Here’s some background.

This post has gotten way too long. The way we see it, just as St. Patrick’s Day ended up being close to 10-days worth of celebration, the content found from following these links can be enjoyed anytime you need an infusion of awesome storytelling.


—The Gang
Celebrating the Storyteller in all of us!

And the Enchanted Jukebox Sez…

Treat Her Right..

And Black 47 — a particular favorite here at Jedemi.

Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

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