Saturday Night Serenade–Kiss Me, I’m Irish

I LOVE St. Patrick’s Day!   On my bucket list is to pay someone to play Galway Girl in a pub in Galway on St. Patrick’s Day.  So far, this first video is as close as I’ve gotten.  It’s a joyous street celebration!

Tonight, in celebration of all things Eire, I’ve assembled some of my favorite Irish music by some of my favorite Irish bands.  If you’re not familiar with them, it’s a sampling of what’s out there.

To me, the perfect place to celebrate the day is in an Irish bar listening to traditional music.  A few St. Patrick’s Days ago, Mr. R and I spent hours at the James Joyce Irish Pub, a wonderful bar in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood.

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We listened to great music and tossed back way too many little green shots before we staggered back to our hotel in the wee hours of the morn.  At one point, Mr. R paid the guy to sing Dirty Old Town.  Here it is by The Pogues.

You can’t celebrate the day without Irish Rover.  This traditional version is by the Dubliners with The Pogues.  Just ignore the bad teeth, it’s brilliant.

The Dropkick Murphys are undoubtedly my favorite jig-punk band, and I was thrilled to go see them last time they came through town.  This is Rose Tattoo.

Again,  here are The Pogues, with If I Should Fall From Grace With God.  Does it seem like  the Irish have something of a fixation on death?

Finally, and if you’re still here, you’re awesome, here’s a set from my favorite Irish band, The Prodigals, at their home bar, Paddy Reilly’s on the lower east side of Manhattan.  I actually DID get to see them here once, and it was magical.

Pull up a stool and raise your pint glass.  Sláinte, hug those you love, and have a happy Saturday night.


Saturday Night Serenade–Take Back the Power OR That Took A Dark Turn

It’s the second weekend of March, and we’re ‘springing forward’ tonight.  Don’t forget.  And if the Florida legislature has their way, this will be the last time Mr. R and I have to change our clocks.  They’ve voted to remain on Daylight Savings Time from now on.

Which, on the one hand, is great.  My feeling is, just pick one time and let me know.  On the other hand, however, when everyone else ‘falls back’, the entire state of Florida will be all jacked up.  The 6:30 national news will come on at 7:30.  The Times Square ball will drop at 1:00 am New Years Day.  Everything will be all wonky.

But who am I to complain?  Just a lowly taxpayer.  The state legislature also came up with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which Gov. Rick Scott signed, in response to the outcry following the horrific events of a few weeks ago.  While far from perfect, it’s a good start, particularly from a Republican governor to whom I usually refer as a dick with eyes.

The legislation limits gun sales to persons over the age of 21, among other things.  It also allocates serious fundage for mental health initiatives.  And it sets aside money to beef up school security.

Of course, there are those against the plan.  The NRA is even suing the state, citing 2nd Amendment violations.  I hesitate to wade into politics.  Everyone is so hateful.  But I’m for a little reform.

Some will call me a liberal.  Go ahead, if that makes you feel superior.  I’m neither Republican nor Democrat.  I’m a registered Independent voter.  I just look around for somebody who makes sense.  And I have guns in my home.  Nobody’s trying to take away your guns.  We’re just trying to keep kids safe.  I’d hope that, at least, is something we all have in common.

I’m feeling all punky tonight.  So this little song from The Interrupters speaks to my soul.  Wherever you fall on the issues, I hope you take a moment to see it from the other side.  And hugs your kids tight.  Because some parents in Parkland can’t do that tonight.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mr. R’s Birthday

We’re celebrating Mr. R’s birthday this weekend!

His birthday happens to be the same day as one of my brothers’, and that’s really neither here nor there.  But around this time, I always start thinking about how thankful I am to have him in my life.

I always refer to Mr. R as my ‘happily ever after.’  And he is.

I spent a long time married to my nightmare.  Last week, I alluded to my #MeToo story.  Nightmare is the star of that tale.

After that ended, a few years down the road when I had my feet under me a little, I thought it might be nice to meet someone new.  I wasn’t looking for someone who made me happy–I didn’t aim that high.  I just hoped for someone who didn’t make me unhappy.

But my broken road led me to a man who makes me laugh every day, from our first date, when he ordered a strawberry daiquiri with an exaggeratedly deep voice, to the songs that he intentionally butchers (most recently, changing the words to We Built This City to We Milk These Titties), and more than I could possibly tell you about.  He brings me flowers all the time, just because he wants to.  He makes me feel loved and cherished, honored and protected.  And I’m beyond thankful for him.

That’s what I think of when his birthday rolls around.  I have a couple of gifts for him: a nice leather messenger bag to use in his real estate work, a Starbucks gift card for his espresso, and a bakery decorated carrot cake (in spite of the fact that he’d diabetic).  But really, on his birthday, I’m reminded that he is a gift to me.

We’ll be going out to a nice dinner Sunday night.  We have reservations at the Capital Grille, and they know it’s his birthday.  Tonight, we’ll just chill here at home.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

“Bless The Broken Road”
(originally by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
(Yes He did)

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true.



Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.


Saturday Night Serenade–Staying Woke

For the last week and a half, we’ve been mourning the loss of 17 in south Florida.  And we’ve been reminded of those we lost in Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas, and Texas, and Orlando, and countless other places.  Senseless losses that should capture our attention and strengthen our determination to solve the problems that led us there, to keep it from happening again.

But in the ‘short attention span theatre’ that is the 21st century news cycle, the cause just before Parkland was #MeToo and #TimesUp, the social movement that is calling out sexism and misogyny.    It’s been posited that every woman you know, along with many men, has her own Me Too story.  I know I do.  Maybe one day I’ll write about it.

It’s astounding, really, that for so long we’ve all excused sexual predation as ‘locker room talk’ and ‘boys being boys’.  Clue: It’s NOT okay.  It NEVER was.

I’m hopeful that now that the dialogue has begun, it will continue, that we’ll move forward more enlightened, treating EVERYONE with respect and compassion.  EVERYONE.  Now that we’re woke, let’s stay woke, amen?

I heard this song, Female by Keith Urban, the other day, and it touched my heart.  I’m including the official lyric version, too, because words are important.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to honor the women in your life, and hug the people you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mourning

It’s happened again.  This time less than an hour away from my home.  Heaven forbid we should ever get accustomed to it.

A sad, lost, disturbed child entered a school with a gun and killed seventeen people.

As usual, the finger-pointing and politicizing started instantaneously.  On every side.  Does it help?  Do we feel superior now?

No matter the factors that led to the tragedy, we’re heart-broken.  Seventeen lives were senselessly snuffed out.  Seventeen journeys cut short.  Seventeen families shattered.  Countless survivors scarred for life.

So now what?  While we wait for politicians to get their shit together and do something effective–about guns, about mental illness, about family social services, about following up on reports filed by citizens who saw something and said something.  What do we do?

I think we love.  Starting with those closest to us.  We hug them, and we tell them that we love them.  We reach out to those who are hurting and we help them if we can, or refer them to someone who is better equipped.

I heard Bob Goff speak last week about love in action.  Loving those we find “creepy,” because they need it the most.  His book Love Does is currently in my Amazon cart.  It’s ten bucks and available on Prime.

A small investment in a better world.

Happy Saturday night.


Saturday Night Serenade–Valentine’s Date Night

We’ve been seeing the ads for weeks.  The Broadway touring company of Cabaret is coming to the local performing arts center in West Palm Beach.  Every time I see the commercial, I spend the next half hour humming, “Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!”

The other day, Mr. R retrieved the mail, and the next time I went to my computer, sitting propped against the screen was an envelope from the Kravis Center.  Snatching it up, I gasped, “Stop it!”

He just grinned at me.  “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

The thoughtful surprise is as enjoyable as watching the show will be.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  I think the important thing is just appreciating those we love, and taking the opportunity to say so.

Be warm and safe this February evening.  Remember to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

And have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Saturday Night Serenade–Super Bowl Edition

Are you ready for some football?

I’m not remotely a football fan, but I love the Super Bowl.  I love that it’s a uniquely American cultural event, with a tradition all its own.  People throw parties and gather at sports bars,  dressed in their favorite team’s jersey.  There’s a whole category of ‘game day’ snacks, from subs, to chili, to burgers.  Plus, plenty of beer.

I couldn’t care less which teams play, I tune in for the half-time show and the commercials.  This year, I’m cheering for the Eagles, mainly because they’re not the Patriots.  But mostly, I’m looking forward to the spectacle.  Justin Timberlake is the half-time performer, and that should be fun.  Fingers crossed, no ‘wardrobe malfunction’ this time out.

This week’s serenade is from a couple of years ago, one of my favorite Super Bowl performances of all time.  I LOVE Bruno Mars, and this shortened version of Uptown Funk is fantastic.

Remember when you had to wait until the actual game to see the awesome commercials?  Now, a lot of them are already out.  I’ve seen Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) from Game of Thrones in a rap battle with Morgan Freeman.  I’ve seen a rabbi, a priest, an imam, and a monk pile into a truck and head to a football game.  But so far, nothing has made me laugh like Hannibal Lecter pinch-hitting for Amazon’s Alexa.  Creepy fun!

I don’t know about you, but here at Chez R, we’ll be serving ribs and nachos when we sit down to watch.  Tonight is all about preparation.

I hope your pick wins tomorrow.  For now, enjoy laughter with those you love, and be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!