CDN’s Top Ten St. Patrick’s Day toasts

Ah, to be sure, if you’re havin’ a few stiff ones tonight, here are some classic Irish toasts to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

St. Patrick's Day Parade.
St. Patrick's Day Parade. (Via Flickr, CC 2.0)

SAN DIEGO, March 17, 2015 – Over the past few years, we’ve pored over our massive lists of Irish St. Patrick’s Day toasts and discovered that many of our favorites are still our favorites.

To borrow a phrase from Jane Austen, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that Irish and Celtic toasts have been a legendary part of the Emerald Isle’s culture for centuries. The Irish have always revered the spoken word, considering it a gift to inspire, to lighten the heart and to lift one another up in hard times.

Back in the day in ancient Ireland, when the Irish people were still mostly illiterate, Irish language and oral history and poetry were in the safekeeping of professional poet-historians known as “bards,” who were also skilled in the art of the written word. If a piece of written communication were somehow obtained by one of the townsfolk in that era, he’d be advised to take it immediately to the village or small kingdom’s bard, because “he has the words.”

What a wonderful expression that is: “has the words.” Possesses the words. Owns the words. Can express the words and the meaning of the words better than anyone else. Which gets us back to the tradition of colorful and meaningful Irish toasts, a most appropriate topic on St. Patrick’s Day. For the Irish indeed still “have the words.”

To list every enjoyable, clever Irish toast would take us through next St. Patrick’s Day, at least. But you’ll need at least one authentic Irish toast today as you raise a glass of your favorite adult beverage in a heartfelt salute to Irish culture and all it has contributed to American life.

As a CDN public service, here are our Top Ten Favorite Irish Toasts for St. Patrick’s Day to charm your family and friends:

Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and an honest one,
A cold pint and another one!
May the luck of the Irish possess you.
May the devil fly off with your worries.
May God bless you forever and ever. 

Here’s to a sweetheart, a bottle and a friend. The first beautiful; the second just full; the last ever faithful.

Saint Patrick was a gentleman
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland.
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings,
Lest you lose yourself, and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
See all those snakes again. 

May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

May the luck of the Irish
Lead to happiest heights,
And the highway you travel
Be lined with green lights.

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ship are friendships,
And may they always be.

To live above with the Saints we love,
Ah, that is the purest glory.
To live below with the Saints we know,
Ah, that is another story!

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load.
May the mist of Irish magic
shorten every road…
And may all your friends remember

all the favors you are owed!

Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here’s to each lad and his darlin’ colleen,
Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast!  

I have known many,
and liked not a few,
but loved only one
and this toast is to you.

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you’re dead.
May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred-year-old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.

May the good Lord take a liking to you… But not too soon!

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life and never catch up.

May you get all your wishes but one,
 so that you will always have something to strive for!

Wherever you go and whatever you do, 
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

If you’re enough lucky to be Irish… You’re lucky enough!

May we be alive at this same time again. Or try it in Irish: Go mbeirimíd beo ar an am seo arís.

If you were counting, yes there are more than Ten Favorite Irish Toasts. But hey, the Irish have a hard time stopping this sort of thing once they get started. So did we.

Chances are good by the time you need these toasts, you will have enjoyed enough Irish revels that you didn’t even notice.

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is president/owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, Calif. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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  • And the funny part: here I am a, Ginger, and not one drop of Irish in this redhead!

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