I never really thought much about what the saying "Luck of the Irish" really meant until I read Patricia Palacco's book Fiona's Lace and began to do a wee bit of research.
The book has a great message about family sticking together through thick and thin. Patricia's quote in the end of the book says, "Home is where the heart resides"
Her book tries to show the reader how life was difficult for the Irish when they were forced to emigrate to the USA with very few of their belongings, leaving all their family or friends behind to find a better way of life. They often never saw their family or friends ever again. Famine struck Ireland as well as a war torn country during this era. Starving and desperate they came to America hoping to prosper but were met with more hardships. Some Americans were jealous when the immigrants found success in their new life chalking it up to "luck" not the result of the hard work and determination of the Irish people. And so became the saying "Luck of the Irish" which was meant as an irony, due to their lack of luck.
Buck Owens and Roy Clark's song on the 1970's Hee Haw show explains it all!
"Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!"
This only proves though as we celebrate the Irish holiday, St. Patrick's Day in America that we should learn that working hard, having determination, and being strong willed are great traits to inherit from the Irish ancestors. After all they survived many hardships.