Sunday, March 17, 2013

10 Great Green Things: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No, it wasn't St. Patrick's Day; it was my 27th birthday!
Considering how much I love Ireland, the Irish, Lucky Charms, shamrocks, four-leaf clovers and a good stiff drink, it's a wonder that I'm not into St. Patrick's Day more than I am. Maybe it's all those years of living in New York City, where too many Irish-Americans used it as an excuse to get out-of-control wasted every March 17.

I even recall one year in which the drunken revelry led to an altercation at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City that left one young guy with his entire life ahead of him dead. A Google search revealed that it wasn't the only brutal St. Patrick's Day fatality on record. That's just not my kind of holiday. Give me a dysfunctional but civilized Thanksgiving Day family dinner over St. Patrick's Day debauchery any year!

This St. Patrick's Day, though, I'm feeling particularly keen on green. Maybe it's the story I told a friend the other night about my best date ever (yes, it was with a guy from Ireland), or the fact that after years of wearing lime-colored shirts (and sometimes trousers!), green remains my favorite color. So what better reason is there to honor it now?

Jack Greene (1930-2013) A few weeks ago, I came across a YouTube video of Jack Greene performing his 1969 No. 1 country hit "Statue of a Fool" several years back, and when Bill Anderson introduced him and said he sounds even better now than he did back in the day, I was impressed that it wasn't just hyperbole. He could still sing the hell out of that song. I was even more impressed when, after consulting Wikipedia, I discovered that Greene was still with us. Sadly, he is no longer. He died on March 15 at age 83 of complications from Alzheimer's Disease. His memory may have failed him in the end, but he left behind five No. 1 country hits -- including the 1965 Nashville standard "There Goes My Everything" -- to ensure that he's never forgotten.

"Green Green Grass of Home" There's very little green green grass outside of Central Park in New York City, but it's hard to listen to this song -- which I first heard via Elvis Presley's 1975 version but is perhaps best known as Tom Jones' 1966 No. 11 hit -- and not think of my beloved one-time home which one day certainly will be home once again.

Green Eggs and Ham YouTube is amazing! Without it, I never would have known there was an animated short to go with Dr. Suess's classic children's book. The singing animals at the end are genius, but what's that hoofed thing on the left with two horns?

Kermit the Frog No matter how hard Miss Piggy tried to upstage him, whenever I think of The Muppets, he's the one who always comes to mind. Well, after Fozzie Bear!

"(It's Ain't Easy Being) Green" by Shannon McNally The greatest green song you've probably never heard. (Read more about it here.) Runner-up: Abra Moore's "Four Leaf Clover," which somehow, miraculously, managed to chart on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1997.

"Green Grass Vapors" by Angie Stone Was she really singing about what I always thought she was singing about?

Al Green What can I say now that hasn't already been said -- by me, right here?

Lee Greenwood It's such a shame that one of my favorite country music singers from the '80s is best-known for that dreadful "God Bless the U.S.A."

"Green" by Edie Brickell I'm still waiting in vain for a revival of one-hit wonder Edie Brickell (with or without New Bohemians) or at least a way-belated appreciation of her 1994 debut solo album Picture Perfect Morning, from whence this great green song came. (Going from my People magazine review, it's clear that I didn't appreciate it either the first time around.) I once asked her what her first impression of her husband Paul Simon was when she met him during a Saturday Night Live performance in 1988. "The first thing I noticed was how handsome he was," she replied, leaving me as speechless as her best songs (the ones on her 2003 album Volcano) still do.

Guys named Patrick Okay, they're not technically green (though some of them do have the most stunning green eyes), but I don't believe I've ever known of a guy named Patrick, fictional or not, who wasn't totally McDreamy. They're right up there with Noahs, Nathans, Ryans and Joshes!

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