Saint Patrick’s Day, whether you’re Irish or not, it’s one of those “lesser” holidays that almost everyone celebrates. My family is, however, Irish. Very Irish. I come from a long line of good ol’ micks and we celebrate our heritage in the “traditional” manner: cabbage, beef, potatoes, drinks, and Irish folk songs. The latter usually being performed by my grandfather at the end of our festivities.

I now live three states away from my Grandpa and big, Irish family, so my husband and I celebrate in our own way with our kids: cabbage, beef, potatoes, and Irish themed movies. Following is a quick list of favorites from my childhood, as well as a newer favorite we discovered after having kids.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)


Albert Sharpe plays Darby O’Gill, an old caretaker who is in the endless pursuit to find the pot of gold belonging to King Brian, ruler of the leprechauns. The movie also stars Janet Munro as Darby’s daughter and Sean Connery as her unlikely love interest. There are also some banshees in there for good measure – which can freak the funk out of a little kid. Just warning you.

Finian’s Rainbow (1968)


Twenty years after its Broadway debut, Francis Ford Coppola brought this musical to the big screen. Finian (Fred Astaire) moves to the mythical state of Misstucky with his daughter, Sharon, where he hopes to bury a pot of leprechaun gold in the land surrounding Fort Knox. Why? Because he believes the gold will multiply, of course! The leprechauns chase them, but all I really remember from this film is the singing. I love me some musicals.

The Secret of Kells (2009)


This film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2010. I have to admit, the look of this movie is what initially made me check it out. The story follows young Brendan as he is apprenticed to Aidan of Iona during the creation of The Book of Kells. When Aidan sends Brendan into the forest to fetch nuts to make ink for the book’s illustrations, he meets the mysterious Aisling, and adventure unfolds from there.

Those are just a few of our favorites. What movies do you watch when tapping into your Emerald Isle roots?

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