Thursday, February 24, 2005

Shite Happens!

With all the shite that’s been happening in my life as of late I’d thought I might reflect on it if only a little.

I play a Tin Whistle, Uilleann Pipes, and the Bodhran Drum: instruments used in playing Celtic Music. Studying Celtic music has revealed a few things to me through understanding the lyrics of some songs. What I noticed is that some songs are shared by all three of the British Isles or UK’s States, Ireland, Scotland, and England. What I find amusing about the difference between the three differing cultures is the attitude reflected through the different lyrics to the same song. Being Dutch I’ll site an example of a Press Gang song, which is shared by all three cultures, and that song is “The Lowlands of Holland”. In the Irish version, the male is pressed into service on a British Naval Ship to go and fight in the Wars with Holland on his wedding night. His lover pines for his return and makes an oath never to love another until his return. Then along comes her mother and says, “There are men enough in Galloway”, find another and get over it. In the Scottish version, the lover builds a ship, it is crushed in a storm with all lives lost, she builds, yet another, and it is lost at sea. A dark conclusion as all is forlorn.

What’s the lesson that I can learn from this metaphor as song. Well I think it’s a valuable one for life – damn how weighty. The lessons are simple and I think to put it this way makes it the clearest.

The Irish have always known that “Shite Happens” and then you get on with it compromising or changing to find joy or consolation.
The Scottish, bless their determined spirits, have the same spin on this “Shite Happens” but go one step further by postulating the question “Shite Happens – But why does it always happen to me?

Please note that I respect the Scottish resolve of keep trying until you get it and I love their music - it also wouldn’t be fair to also note that the lover in the Irish song also elects to wait for her lovers return. Additionally, the lover who has been sent off to war on seeing the Dutch Coast and Countryside remarks
“Now then, Holland is a lovely land
And upon it grows fine grain
Surely 'tis a place of residence
For a soldier to remain
Where the sugar cane is plentiful
And the tea grows on the tree”
Thus reflecting a pragmatic solution to his current situation and that it would be better to stay in Holland than to fight.

What does all this mean to me then? Well I guess it comes down with what you do with the shite your served up. You could lament and eat shite sandwiches. Fight and throw a lot of Shite around or stir up some shite. Lastly, not unlike the lemons to lemonade cliché, I guess we could spread the shite and use it to fertilize and cultivate a new harvest.

Now what will I do? Stay tuned and I'll let you know.

In the mean time, here is a little ditty about shite.

Well, it's shite...that's right, shite!
Shite may just be the most functional
Word in the English language.

You can get shite-faced,
Be shite out of luck,
or have shite for brains.

With a little effort,
you can get your shite together,
Find a place for your shite, Or
Be asked to shite or get off the pot.

You can smoke shite,
buy shite,
sell shite,
lose shite,
find shite,
forget shite,
and tell others to eat shite.

Some people know their shite, while
others can't tell the difference
Between Shite and Shineola.

There are lucky shites,
dumb shites,
crazy shites,
There is bull shite,
horse shite and
chicken shite.

You can throw shite,
sling shite,
catch shite,
shoot the shite,
or duck when the shite hits the fan.

You can give a shite or
serve shite on a shingle.

You can find yourself in deep shite
or be happier than a pig in shite.

Some days are colder than shite,
some days are hotter than shite,
and some days are just plain shitety.

Some music sounds like shite,
things can look like shite,
and there are times when you feel like shite.

You can have too much shite,
not enough shite,
the right shite,
the wrong shite or
a lot of weird shite.

You can carry shite,
have a mountain of shite, or find yourself up shites creek without a paddle.
Sometimes everything you touch turns to shite and other times you fall in a bucket of shite and come out smelling like a rose.

When you stop to consider all the facts,
it's the basic building block of the English language.

And remember, once you know your shite,
you don't need to know anything else!

You could pass this along, if you give a shite. Or not do so, If you don't give a shite!

Well Shite, it's time for me to go. Just wanted you to know that I do Give A Shite and hope you had a nice day, without a bunch of shite. But if you happened to catch a load of shite from some shite head........Well,

shite happens!

Gerard Pas


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