Mardi Bragh!

It’s a lethal combination: St. Patrick’s Day, and a beautiful sunny day in the 60s.

The diehards in cheesy green boas and bowlers were out in force on the 8:16 this morning. (Anyone else notice how the St. Paddy’s costumes are looking more and more like green versions of Mardi Gras getup–the shamrock beads, the jester hats, other bits of cheapo frippery?) Most seemed to take Metro-North’s no booze warning to heart, though I did spy a few Big Gulp cups that may have been harboring illicit hootch, and also saw a young man in FDNY dress blues lugging an 18 pack of Bud Light from car to car on the train. (Hey probie–don’t get hammered with the uniform on! Rookie mistake!)

The train was jammed, but I was lucky enough to score a 1-3/4 seater, and was thus mostly out of the way from the weekday warriors. I did have a trio lurking nearby, who spent the first 35 minutes of the ride contemplating going from car to car while the train is moving, then squealing with terror as they finally got the nerve to make the jump just shy of 125th Street.

Of course, I was there to tell them that seasoned commuters go from car to car every day, and think nothing of it, in fact, hoping my encouragement would get them to vacate my immediate vicinity. Their dortality temporarily assuaged, they made the passage safely.

Of course, the morning ride on St. Patrick’s Day is nothing compared to the evening jaunt, when the parade crowd, drunk on on eighteen pints of Guinness and their own cliches, fills the train. Let’s hope we don’t get a repeat of last year’ “Irish Hurling.”

Despite our pure-breed Paddy background, we don’t go for displaying all manner of cheap Irish tokenism today; if your Irish-ness is that important to you, celebrate it year round. But we will continue with a four-year old Trainjotting tradition: the lyrics to “Paddy Works on the Railway”–a salute to the Irish’s contribution to building railroads.  

In eighteen hundred and forty-one
My corduroy breeches I put on
My corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-two
I didn’t know what I should do
I didn’t know what I should do
To work upon the railway, the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-three
I sailed away across the sea
I sailed away across the sea
To work upon the railway, the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-four
I landed on Columbia’s shore
I landed on Columbia’s shore
To work upon the railway, the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-five
When Daniel O’Connell he was alive
When Daniel O’Connell he was alive
To work upon the railway, the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-six
I made my trade to carrying bricks
I made my trade to carrying bricks
For working on the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-seven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to Heaven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to Heaven
To work upon the railway, the railway
I’m weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

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