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Scene selections: St. Patrick’s Day

, , , , and | Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Jackie Junci

Happy St. Patty’s Day from Scene! A selection of everything that Scene loves about Irish culture!


Irish drinking songs

By Ryan Israel, Scene Editor

Cheers! (To all those of legal drinking age). Crack open a cold one — whether that be a beer, a seltzer or a soda — this St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy it with some good friends — whether in a dorm room, a forest or a bar. When it comes time to soundtrack your drinking, turn to a classic Irish drinking song.

Most streaming services, and the internet in general, are awash with tunes of the Irish persuasion. Importantly for your drunken brain, these songs are usually simple and short. After one or two listens, you can sing along, and soon enough you’ll be pounding your can or glass against a table, singing (shouting) with your friends and reveling in the holiday spirit.

My favorite tunes come from this marathon playlist, but there’s plenty of others to choose from. In fact, Notre Dame has a drinking song of its own, “Dorm Party Drinking Song,” a lovely piece from Griffin Collins and Felix Rabito. Some day, hopefully soon, dorm parties will return; until then, keep your drinking circle small and your singing nice and loud.


Celtic knots

Sofia CrimiVaroli, Scene Writer

My somewhat-unhealthy obsession with Celtic knots is probably rooted in my (very Irish) grandmother and all the Celtic knots on her jewelry and the Irish knick-knacks around her house. To say she was proud of her heritage would be a gross understatement. 

The first time I can remember trying to draw a Celtic knot was years ago, when I was around 10. I had seen my cousin drawing one and my little brain said, “yeah, I could totally do that with no practice or instruction whatsoever.” I cannot emphasize to you enough how many hours I spent trying to deduce the secrets behind creating the knot.

For those who may not know, a Celtic knot is a pleat or braid made from one continuous woven band. They are normally seen in churches or on religious relics in Celtic, Roman and Byzantine culture. But today, they are largely used as a symbol of Irish heritage and traditions. They are especially complicated because the band has no beginning or end, not to mention the intricate symmetrical designs they typically create. 

I eventually lost hope in creating my cousin’s knot, making peace with my inadequacy as a descendant of Irish heritage. That is, until about a year ago when I attempted the knot and correctly executed it on my second try, therefore redeeming myself in my family’s eyes. Evidently, I am smarter than a fifth grader.


Aidan O’Malley

By Aidan O’Malley, Scene Writer

My favorite piece of Irish culture is myself.

Is that cheating? Am I even a piece of Irish culture, or am I just a cheap, American knockoff? Who’s to say? 

I’m to say! I carry with me a certain kind of Irish elitism, especially at a school like Notre Dame. Our athletic teams might be “the Fighting Irish,” but boy am I “the entitled Irish.”

I’m a native of the suburbs of Chicago, I’m a student here at the University of Notre Dame (du Lac) and next spring, I’m studying abroad in Ireland. The only way Aidan O’Malley could possibly get more Irish is if, I don’t know, I was from the suburbs of Boston instead. 

I am not, however, red-headed. This, in fact, has come as a surprise to multiple HR representatives when I’ve interviewed with them for internships. I suppose when they reviewed my resume, they expected this. Or this. Hopefully, not this.

So this St. Patrick’s Day, raise a glass to me, Aidan! So concludes my most vain Scene Selection yet. 


Bangers and mash

Lexi Kilcoin, Scene Writer

I’ll admit that I laugh every time I hear someone say “bangers and mash.” I never knew what it was until I went to Ireland myself and experienced this amazing sausage and potato dish. 

Traditionally bangers and mash consists of mashed potatoes nestled between — or underneath — two sausages. Since the sausage was first introduced to Great Britain in 400 A.D., this dish has grown tremendously and now millions of pounds are spent per year on the delectable meat.

I’ll never forget my firsthand experience with bangers and mash. Anyone who knows me knows that when I talk about my trip to Ireland, the first thing I rave about is not the miles and miles of lush green hills, ancient stone castles or my first glass of Guinness, it is about the amazing sausage that likely came from just under a few miles away from the restaurant paired with mashed potatoes.

I’m serious, if you ever get a chance to go to Ireland, try the sausage. It’s life-changing.


“The Quiet Man”

Nicole Bilyak, Scene Writer

I’ll admit that I am a softie for films that take place in Ireland, but “The Quiet Man” from the ’50s is one film that takes place in Ireland that captures the true essence of Ireland. 

The story centers around Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who returns to the fictional town of Inisfree to obtain a property from his family. He meets the lovely Mary-Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara), but develops a conflict with her brother Will (Victor McLagen). With the help of Michaeleen Flynn, a matchmaker-cum-bookmaker, Sean must win over Mary-Kate’s heart and secure his hold on his family’s land and cottage. 

I truly love this film because it made me appreciate Irish culture, and it was beautifully made for a film made in 1952. I love the story and magic of the Irish culture that is portrayed in this fictional town in Ireland. If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend you watch it. It is a staple in Irish culture. 


A poem about Hozier playing the low whistle on TikTok 

Colleen Fischer, Scene Writer 

Begging ancient questions of faithful dead 

Songs of banished saints but slither away 

Divine disappointment, wasted, well-read 

A culture enslaved, with something to say 


Hair, beneath the sky, watched by careful eyes 

Glass provides lonely light, tasting red wine

Long limbs, old soul, creating lullabies 

Fleeting promises a centuries-old crime 


A lonely whistle, quiet hum the same 

Tempest waters ignored all the same

About Ryan Israel

Ryan is the Former Scene Editor (2020-2021). He is currently washed up. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryizzy.

Contact Ryan

About Aidan O'Malley

Scene Editor, Aidan is.

Contact Aidan

About Sofia CrimiVaroli

Contact Sofia

About Nicole Bilyak

Contact Nicole

About Colleen Fischer

Contact Colleen

About Lexi Kilcoin

Lexi is an aspiring journalist studying Creative Writing and Religious Studies at Saint Mary's College. She loves all things The Office and is sure to start a conversation with anyone she meets.

Contact Lexi