Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

In this holiday feautre from Warner brothers, "The Wearing of the Grin", Porky Pig gets stranded in the rain, and then takes refuge in a castle said to be inhabited by leprechauns. This is a funny cartoon, which still makes me laugh each time I see it. As usual, Mel Blanc does all the voices, showcasing once again his genius at inhabiting multiple characters. He must have been a scream to hang around with. And probably a lot of fun if you were one of his kids!

Take a few minutes and watch this cartoon. Let the leprechauns work some magic on you and make you laugh. You will feel the luck of the Irish if you do. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and may all your leprechauns bring you luck!

And for the older folks looking at this site today; here are The Irish Rovers singing their famous hit song, "The Unicorn", from 1967. The Rovers perform the song here live at Waterfront Hall in Belfast in 2010. By the way; Canada has been their home since they were little kids; their mother and father, who were themselves musical, emigrated to Canada from Ireland in the late 1950's. The children had already been performing in Ireland.

The original recording, released in late 1967, worked its way up the charts to number 7 in early 1968. It was written by Shel Silverstein, the iconic cartoonist and writer for Playboy magazine, who gave us such treasures as "The Giving Tree", "A Boy Named Sue", and a host of other hit songs and children's books of poetry.

The band was named after a traditional Irish song, "The Irish Rover". George and Will Millar were the two brothers, both born in Ballymena, in the North of Ireland, near Belfast, who founded the band. Their mother and father were both musically inclined, with their father, Bob Millar, playing a "button-key" accordion in several bands even before settling in Toronto. A cousin, Joe Millar, sang along with Bob in the family kitchen, adding his harmonica to the mix. George and Will sang with their sister, Sandra, under the name "The Millar Kids" before the family moved to Canada.

The unicorn is of course, a mythical beast. Still, this song does offer a sentimental reason for why we never see one anymore. You know, free spirits often pay a high price for their freedom...

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