Thursday, March 17, 2016

St Paddy’s Snake Bite Remedy by Eden Unger Bowditch

As today we think everything should be green as the grass is green. Why? And for whom? For none other than St Patrick. Many green-wearing fans think of him as the little buckle-shoed ginger leprechaun with pointy ears and a twinkle in his eye. Sorry folks. That’s not the story.

When we were young, my husband and I were in a band that toured and made albums and did it all with a baby in tow (he took two years off grad school!) One of our songs was inspired by a comment by a friend in the music business. He said, ‘This song reminds me of St Paddy’s Snake Bite Remedy’ and, thus, it was dubbed.

What feels like a hundred years later, I look back and wonder why I never investigated the story. Me? A lover of stories? A teller of stories? And, so, I shall do so today.

St Paddy was not Irish and, in fact, wasn’t even Christian. He never planned to go to Ireland. He was a wealthy young boy in Britain and was kidnapped. St Paddy’s move from the lap of luxury to tending sheep on a rainy Irish hillside was not by choice. But, as he sat shivering while tending his flock, he had a conversion. He heard a voice that told him what must happen. He returned to Britain, became a priest, then went back to Ireland where he lived out his days trying to bring Christianity to the natives. But what about snakes?

Well, the story goes that St. Paddy snake bite remedy was to banish snakes from the island. And, as it stands, there are no snakes in Ireland. Were there ever snakes in Ireland, you ask? Why do you want to trample upon a fabulous tale that has survived the centuries?

We are spinners of stories ourselves, are we not? And we all love a good yarn. Let’s enjoy the magic brought to us on this day. We celebrate in big or small ways- a green scarf or green socks, or bright green-died hair, pick your pleasure- let’s send a cheer to Ireland as we remember the passing of Irish patron and give a nod to St. Paddy’s snake bite remedy.

1 comment:

  1. I was so frazzled yesterday, I didn't even wear green. And I do wonder why there are no snakes in Ireland. Sounds like a magic spell to me.


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