Slainte: The Stone of Eloquence

What do Mick Jagger, Winston Churchill, and my Mom all have in common? If you guessed they all kissed the Blarney Stone at some point in their lives, you’d be spot on. Blarney Castle regularly makes Ireland’s top ten places to visit list . Why? Because it’s the home of the stone that promises eloquence to everyone who is brave enough to plant a big smooch on a bit of grey castle rock, high in a tower, upsidedown and backwards of course.

Here’s a demo of the technique on a sunnier day. Note the stone kissing helper has a FIRM grasp on the kissers. ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t been to Blarney, but I can tell you it would be on my top ten list for Ireland too. Who wouldn’t want to brave the twisty stone steps of a medieval tower and kiss a stone with a storied history all to receive the “gift of the gab”? I was actually a little surprised my mom had done the…er…deed, given her fear of heights, but then she was barely 19 at the time. Go, Mom!

A brief history of Blarney:

In 1446 the third castle was built by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster of which the keep still remains standing.

The lower walls are fifteen feet, built with an angle tower by the McCarthys of Muskerry. It was subsequently occupied at one time by Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, who is said to have supplied four thousand men from Munster to supplement the forces of Robert the Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Legend has it that the latter king gave half of the Stone of Scone to McCarthy in gratitude. This, now known as the Blarney Stone, was incorporated in the battlements where it can now be kissed.

The Earl of Leicester was commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to take possession of the castle. Whenever he endeavoured to negotiate the matter McCarthy always suggested a banquet or some other form of delay, so that when the queen asked for progress reports a long missive was sent, at the end of which the castle remained untaken. The queen was said to be so irritated that she remarked that the earl’s reports were all ‘Blarney’.

So let’s compare a little of that eloquence to see what the Blarney Stone wrought…

You have enemies? Good. That means youโ€™ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. –SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

You wake up in the morning and you look at your old spoon, and you say to yourself, ‘Mick, it’s time to get yourself a new spoon.’ And you do. –MICK JAGGER

Sometimes you’re the only one who can be your children’s advocate. No one knows them better than you. –MOM

And a couple more…

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and fame…ooh, ooh… –MICK JAGGER, Sympathy for the Devil

If you just picked up all the clothes on this floor, you could actually find something in your room. –MOM

Though the Stones are one of my favorite bands, and you can’t go wrong with Mom’s advice, I think I will give the oratory nod to Sir Winston Churchill, mainly for this epic speech rallying England in the dark days of WWII:

We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

However, the true measure of Blarney can be summed up in this simple comparison:

โ€œThe difference between โ€˜blarneyโ€™ and โ€˜baloneyโ€™:

Baloney is when you tell a 50-year old woman that she looks 18. Blarney is when you ask a woman how old she is, because you want to know at what age women are most beautiful.โ€

Ah, yes…and if you say it with an Irish lilt, well…

Do YOU have the gift of the gab when you need it most? Anyone kissed the Blarney Stone and lived to tell about it? HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY, EVERYONE!!

(all photos and vid courtesy Blarney Castle’s really informative and fun website. Quotes from BrainyQuote and Greatest Winston Churchill Quotes, oh and Mom herself ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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20 thoughts on “Slainte: The Stone of Eloquence

  1. Wow, that is some serious acrobatic-style kissing! Not sure if I could manage it, stone or not.

    I’d say my gift of gab is also a potential curse… ๐Ÿ˜‰ That said, it does come in handy! Love the quotesโ€”Mom’s in particular. LOL

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi August! Yes I thought the mode was rather dramatic too. Imagine your head dangling down that hole. I wonder how long they’ve been hoisting kissers. Winston kissed it in 1912!

  2. Great post, Kecia! Your mom reminds me of my mom. Especially with the whole clean-up-your-room thing. Which my mom still brings up. Gee, wonder why?

    Methinks I need to kiss the Blarney Stone. I always seem to come up with an awesome response about two hours after I really need one… What good is that?

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi Rochelle! So happy to see you here, commenting even! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ My mom now brings up the clean up your room in context with my daughters. Um, not helping, Mom.

  3. Coleen Patrick says:

    I went to Blarney, but walked the grounds instead of kissing the stone. My mom used to always say I talked too much anyway ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy St. Patrick’s day!

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Ireland seems so green and lush. I suppose it’s all that rain! I’ll bet the grounds were lovely too. You should tell your mom you talk just enough! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone, Kecia! I also visited Thoor Ballylee, the tower house W. B. Yeats restored for his family. Sadly, neither rendered me silver-tongued. Like Rochelle, I always come up with a good response two hours after I needed it.

    Loved the videos and quotes, especially your mom’s.

  5. Subhan Zein says:

    Great to see the videos. I kissed the Blarney Stone in 2009. It was salty! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Subhan Zein

  6. Emma says:

    I live in Cork, not too far from Blarney & I’ve never kissed the Blarney Stone. Guess I should rectify that! Happy Paddy’s Day Kecia.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi Emma! Then you can verify that it’s green because it rains… You’ll have to let me know if you go so I can live vicariously. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s funny how we can live near tourist spots and never visit. I live 8 miles from the beach, but rarely go down there in the summer. Happy St. Pat’s to you too!

  7. journalpulp says:

    I’ve never kissed the Blarney Stone, and I don’t have the gift of gab, but I did once pass out, in roughly that same position, after shotgunning several cans of Beamish. That was a long time ago, of course, in my salad days, when I was green in judgment.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      LOL! Funny! I’m trying to think of something witty to reply but I’m fresh out of wit. Witless, as it were. I will picture you with a can of whipped cream in your hand dispensing Irish coffee to St. Patrick’s Day celebrants. ๐Ÿ˜‰ A happy one too you too, Ray.

  8. journalpulp says:

    P.S. Happy St Patrick’s Day, Kecia.

  9. Carmi Adams says:

    Wow Kecia…I loved your blog since it was a little remembery. I don’t recall a salty Blarney Stone, but I seem to have actually gotten the “gift of gab” from my father (Boppa to you). Incidentally, he kissed the Stone himself during WWII sometime. Loved the comments…All Moms seem to have the same words of “wisdom”!

  10. tedstrutz says:

    Well done… Mick, Winston and Mom… nice tie-ins. And it’s neat to see your Mom commenting!

  11. […] My own discovery of Blarney Castle from 2012′s St. Paddy’s Day post, including some blarney from Winston Churchill and my mom. […]

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