phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

St Patrick's Day

Posted by Lewis on March 17, 2005

In Reply to: Irish blessings posted by Shae on March 16, 2005

: : May you have food and raiment,
: : A soft pillow for your head,
: : May you be forty years in heaven
: : Before the devil knows you're dead!

: : ***

: : May you have warm words
: : on a cold evening.
: : A full moon on a dark night,
: : And the road downhill all the way
: : to your door.

: : ***

: : May you live to be
: : a hundred years old
: : with one extra year to repent.

: : (From "The Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom," Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, New York, 1993.)

: : May you live to comb gray hair.

: Nice ones, ESC. I'm so glad you didn't include 'May the road rise to meet you.' Being met by a rising road is very painful and causes lots of potholes. The expression is a very litteral translation of 'Go n'eirigh an bothar leat' which, in Irish, has lots of 'well-wish' meanings. Some examples: 'May your journey be safe; May your venture succeed; May your wish come true.'

John Martyn sang

"May you never lay your head down without a hand to hold.
May you never make your bed out in the cold.
May you never lose your temper if you get hit in a barroom fight.
May you never lose your woman overnight."

I picked up a book of toasts which has a lot of traditional Irish blessings, but without it before me I'll make up my own :

May your heart and hearth be forever warm,
may strangers be friends as yet unmade
may your bed be never lonesome and your plate ever full
and may all the blessing of God be upon you
now and forever.

I suppose an 'Amen' should follow.

Happy St Patrick's (and St James' Gate) Day.

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