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by Linda Ryan

March 17, 2014

Radio: St. Patrick's Day

by Linda Ryan  |  March 17, 2014

Whether you're a traditionalist or prefer a bit of punked-up spunk in your drinking songs, this station of Irish music fits the bill!

It used to be that St. Patrick’s Day was a day to honor Ireland’s patron saint -- you know, the one who drove the snakes out -- with a mass and, in some countries, a day off work. But now rivers run green in Chicago. The Sydney Opera House and San Francisco City Hall are lit up with bright green lights. Parades happen from New York to Toronto to Tokyo, while festivals celebrating Irish heritage go down worldwide. Yes, nowadays, the holiday is an excuse to party like a rock star.

Here are a few trivia tidbits about Ireland to mull over while you're drinking on St. Patrick's Day. Should you be sober enough to remember, you can drop some serious knowledge on your drinking buddies.

1) St. Patrick wasn’t Irish: He was kidnapped and brought from Great Britain to Ireland at age 16 as a slave.

2) St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to those crazy, pagan-practicing Irish. It stuck, too: The 2011 Census indicates that 4.5 million of Ireland's 6.4 million inhabitants identified themselves as Catholic.

3) There never were snakes in Ireland. Likewise, there are no bears, wolves or big cats of any kind.

4) Bands from Ireland include Snow Patrol, Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison, U2, The Cranberries, The Undertones, The Boomtown Rats and more. Way more.

5) President Obama’s great, great maternal grandmother came from County Offaly in Ireland.

6) The Vikings founded Dublin in 988.

7) James Joyce once submitted a slogan for his beloved Guinness: "The free, the flow, the frothy freshener." But it was rejected in favor of "It's good for you."

So there you go! Don’t forget to wear your green, rock out to this expertly curated station and have fun on St. Patrick’s Day.

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