<![CDATA[Irish I Were Mexican - Irish I were Mexican]]>Fri, 08 May 2020 01:49:12 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[St. Patrick Battalion - The Song]]>Sun, 17 Mar 2019 22:46:39 GMThttp://irishiweremexican.com/irish-i-were-mexican/st-patrick-battalion-the-songThis St. Patrick's Day I think we should celebrate by learning a bit of history. I wrote about this story in my very first "Irish I Were Mexican" blog post. Here is the same story in song. It is the story of Irish refugees in America who went to fight in the US Army against Mexico. After learning that they were killing other Catholics and appalled by the actions of their fellow soldiers, thousands of Irish deserted and became Mexican. But a couple hundred actually decided to switch sides and fight with the Mexicans against the US. They formed the St. Patrick Battalion and marched under a green flag. The Irish and Mexicans have been united ever since. The St. Patrick Battalion are honored as heroes in Mexico and celebrated every year on St. Patrick's Day. The history is easier to follow in this song.  Have a listen and enjoy!

In Love & Tacos (and potatoes)
<![CDATA[Get Your T-Shirts Here!]]>Mon, 18 Feb 2019 23:27:26 GMThttp://irishiweremexican.com/irish-i-were-mexican/get-your-t-shirts-hereWell, My Leprecanos, St. Patrick's Day is almost here. We are just under a month out and it is the perfect time to start ordering our green-wear. Because I am concerned about how you look (as well as your liver) I have done some internet research to find the perfect t-shirts for you all to represent your heritage to the fullest. These are good not just for St. Patrick's Day, but everyday, to let the world know just how awesome you are. Only those folks who are deep into their studies of Leprecano history will understand that first Zorro shirt. Should make an interesting conversation starter while slamming back green colored brews. I plan to do a blog post about the history of Zorro in the future. For those of you who have been doubting that this Mexi-irish connection is really a thing, Amazon has just proved my point. I give you the following gallery of 24 t-shirts that you can order now from Amazon and have ready for the big day or any day. 24! Leprecanos are a thing...  

​In Love & Tacos (and Potatoes)
<![CDATA[The Irish vs. Tequila]]>Mon, 21 Jan 2019 02:08:19 GMThttp://irishiweremexican.com/irish-i-were-mexican/the-irish-vs-tequilaAs promised, I said I would explore in this blog the places where Irish and Mexican culture come together, but also where they occasionally differ. I found this video amusing. A group of Irish folk trying tequilas and their unabashed thoughts about it. The bottles range in price from about $9 a bottle to about $55 (which one calls bollocks). Well problem #1 might be that they are taking shots and not sipping it like tequila is meant to be enjoyed, but it is still funny.

Some of my favorite quotes include...
"Like a beautiful paint stripper"
"This is what love feels like"
"Tastes more money" (referring to tequila blanco)
"My mouth tastes like blood"
"It tastes yellow and hot, like mustard"

In Love & Tacos (and Potatoes)
<![CDATA[Meme Me]]>Fri, 28 Dec 2018 03:32:00 GMThttp://irishiweremexican.com/irish-i-were-mexican/meme-meAs New Year's Eve approaches I would just like to leave this meme right here.
We cannot ignore the obvious. Mexico and Ireland have solid drinking traditions. Whether with family or friends the culture of passing time (all night perhaps) while sipping alcoholic beverages runs deep. And the likelyhood it might end in a circle of folks with their arms around each other singing is high. I read once that Ireland is also the largest consumer, per capita, of Corona beer outside of Mexico and whiskey, I can attest, is very popular in Mexico. Both cultures drink A LOT of beer. And what are the only two occasions that Americans get together to drink excessively and celebrate something that has nothing to do with their history? Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day of course, except no one claims to be Mexican on Cinco de Mayo. Anyway, I steered off topic. If you have been so blessed as to have Irecan heritage and these special super powers, Salud and Sláinte!

In Love & Tacos (and Potatoes)
<![CDATA[Mariachis & Bagpipes]]>Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:34:03 GMThttp://irishiweremexican.com/irish-i-were-mexican/mixing-mariachis-bagpipesI LOVE both Mariachis and Bagpipes. When I hear either start up and enter into the room, my heart leaps. They both stir something in my core. The blare from the brass section of the Mariachi band or blast of the bagpipes, fill a space like nothing else. The melodies from the bagpipes and the words of the Mariachi singers can move people to tears. I have seen both happen. If someone asked me to choose between the two, I don't think I could. If asked "would you rather" listen to mariachis or bagpipes the rest of your life, I would rather drink gasoline then lose one of these great musical traditions.

Guess what is even better. When you mix the two styles together! Here is the Mexican St. Patrick's Battalion Pipes & Drums band performing for an Irish crowd two traditional mariachi songs, "The Mexican Hat Dance-Jarabe Tapatio" and "Cielito Lindo." Tell me you don't want to get out of your chair and dance. Try to skip to minute 1:00 to begin and watch how Mexican bagpipers add a little spice at minute 2:45.

In Love & Tacos (and Potatoes)
<![CDATA[Irish I Were Mexican - Explained]]>Thu, 06 Dec 2018 17:55:33 GMThttp://irishiweremexican.com/irish-i-were-mexican/irish-i-were-mexican-explainedDo I really wish I were Mexican? No. That is not what this is about. It is just a slogan.

Is that not the cutest Irish boy your have ever seen dressed up in a charro outfit? Before you accuse me of misappropriating a culture, that is my son. He is Ire-can, or Mexi-irish, or Leprecano by ethnicity. He may not "look" Mexican based on your media influenced stereotype, but I assure you he is 100% Mexican. If you need proof by demanding a birth certificate, this is probably not the blog for you; no birther movements allowed. I am an American with Irish roots raised mostly surrounded by Irish/American Catholic culture. I married a Mexican, not a Mexican-American, but a Mexican Mexican.

One day before I had kids, I was with family and my husband in Las Vegas. I saw a chalkboard sign outside of a restaurant that said "Irish I Were Mexican." It caught my attention. I think just the play on words stuck in my head. Since it also struck a cord between my upbringing and my marriage to a Mexican, I was wondering if this was an actual thing I didn't know about, or just creative Vegas restaurant staff. So I consulted google. The phrase "Irish I Were Mexican" seems to have first appeared many years ago as an advertising slogan for St. Patrick's Day at a Mexican food chain called "El Torito." I have actually eaten at a few of these TEX-MEX, not mexican, restaurants (Mexican food vs. Tex Mex is another post entirely).
Why would El Torito be celebrating St. Patrick's Day a few decades ago you may ask? Well Irishmen and Mexicans really kind of like each other. There is a kinship that exists between them and Mexicans will often call Irishman "hermanos." A shared belief in Catholicism, a deep sense of family, and a love of savoring alcoholic beverages as a pastime are some of the basic things that link these two cultures. The reason Ire-cans and Mexi-irish exist as a slang term is because the two cultures are drawn to each other, resulting in many Irish/Mexican marriages resulting in beautiful Leprecano babies. But beyond this, there is a bit of a history here you may be unaware of. I promise you most Mexicans know the story of the time Irishmen took up arms for them. But most Americans are unaware of this little slice of history.  

During the Mexican-American war, the US Army invaded Mexican territory to gain control over what is now the Southwest. The two year war resulted in the Mexican Cession through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Mexico lost 1/3 of its territory. This war was not popular at the time and indeed history looks back at it as nothing more then an unprovoked land grab. The Irish were new immigrants to America facing impoverished conditions and harsh discrimination. Desperate for employment some were recruited into the army. They were not US citizens, did not have voting rights, but were allowed to join and fight in the US army, just like immigrants today. As they started fighting in Mexico many Irishmen began to wonder if they were on the right side of the conflict. Several hundred Irishmen "on the advice of their conscious" switched sides. The Irish were artillery men trained by the British and they brought their cannons with them and joined the Mexican ranks. The were led by John Patrick O'Riley, formed the St. Patrick's Battalion and fought under a green flag with the Irish harp and shamrocks emblazoned with Erin Go Bragh on one side and an image of St. Patrick on the other.
It is worth it to note that there were other European fighters who joined them such as Scots and Germans. They fought bravely in many large battles, but were ultimately defeated by the US Army right outside of Mexico City. Around 50 members of the St. Patrick's battalion were captured by the US Army, branded with the letter "D" on their cheeks for "deserter," and hung.  Legend says they were hung at the moment the US flag was raised above Mexico City so they would die with that image in their minds and carry it with them to hell. But in the minds of the Mexican people they became martyrs and heroes.

Mexicans to this day still remember the group of Irishman who picked up arms to fight with them against the invasion of their territory and celebrate them every St. Patrick's Day. They are remembered with street names, postage stamps, and plaques. The name of the battalion even appears on the chamber walls of the Mexican House of Representatives.  You can visit the site of the last battle at the old convent at Churrubusco in Mexico City.  You can still see bullet holes in the walls and touch the cannons.  In San Jacinto Square in Mexico City there is a plaque carved with the names of Irishmen who died in the cause and in Plaza San Angel you can see the bust of O'Riley, a gift from Ireland to Mexico.
So as you can see the brotherhood is deeper then religion and propensity to imbibe. The bonds of war and spilled blood unite them. VIVA!

These are two great cultures, both which hold a special place in my heart. "Irish I Were Mexican" is just a phrase that captures that unity. I plan to hunt down all the similarities between the two and post them here, a repository of that connection. This will be an exercise of fun and exploration, nothing more. It is a passion of mine as well as other Leprecanos out there.  Reach out if you have something I must know about.

In Love & Tacos (and Potatoes)