Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love this day.  I have celebrated in so many ways over the years:  in a parade in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, or winning a trip to Ireland at the Sacramento Irish American Club.  This is my earliest celebration.  I was at DeVere's Irish Pub by 10 a.m. for the start of the Ireland vs England rugby match. The crowd filled in as the game played.  There were some fans but most people were too muted to be real rugby fans.  When England scored the handful of fans in white jerseys didn't even make a noise.  The Guinness was already flowing though.

For those of you who have been experiencing rugby withdrawals like me, the game was fairly even for the first 60 minutes (of 80) and then England began to break away.  They were beating Ireland soundly when we were saved by the bell.  Or the pipes.

The Sacramento Firefighters Pipe and Drum band entered the pub and stopped just in front of our table and played a half dozen songs.  They asked for requests and someone kept asking for Amazing Grace.  They seemed sheepish about playing it in a pub and it was a sight to see caps coming off and beer glasses raised to this sacred song.  They ended their performance with a rousing jig more in keeping with the day.

Here's a sample of a classic (someone help me with the name of the tune):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wDsWDfITcM

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.