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Today is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in New Haven. In a matter of hours, the Green will crowd with lawn chairs as politicians, veterans, and Irish step dancers walk the ways once inhabited by downtown traffic. Upon the breeze will dance the sour smell of beer with the gamey smell of porta-potties…

…and bands of bagpipes and fifes and drums will all play the same arrangement of “The Minstrel Boy.”

If you’re like me, you’ll start to feel a berserker-like rage, rising from the depths of your gut, after hearing the same damn version for the twentieth time. In a row. Without any breaks.

No need to give in. Instead, just listen to this lovely and very different arrangement of the song by Irish folk great Tommy Makem. I promise that it will sooth your ear fatigue and refresh your soul! And most importantly, it will give you a chance to hear the beautiful verses, written by Thomas Moore. Many believe he wrote it to honor his Trinity Dublin classmates who participated / died in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Enjoy today’s merriment! Tomorrow, we look at a quieter group of folk songs, to help sooth the inevitable hangovers you’ll get from today.

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