Friday, March 15, 2013

Paging Saint Patrick

By Dorothy Parker, first published in LIFE magazine, March 16, 1922

The good Saint Patrick, in his day,
Performed a worthy act:
He up and drove the snakes away,
With more technique than tact.

Could he descend from realms above
And roam about New York,

He’d find it reminiscent of

The good old days in Cork.

The snakes he knew could never tie

The brand our village has—

The kind that daily multiply

And thrive on tea and jazz.

Should he his tales of snakes relate

We’d strive to hide a laugh;

For, though the saint was wise and great,

He didn’t know the half.

Where’er he’d go, to dine or dance,

Or lunch, or tea, or sup,

The saint would have a splendid chance

To do some cleaning up.

Could he but leave his present star,

He’d see that things were changed—

How sad such little visits are

Not easily arranged!

Dorothy Parker currently appears in A FRIENDLY GAME OF MURDER, the third book of the Algonquin Round Table Mystery series, now available in print and e-book.


  1. Absolutely lovely - thank you

  2. They say if you have to explain the joke, then it's probably not so funny to begin with... But when I wrote "tea" and jazz, I was using the Prohibition-era colloquialism for "booze."
    Hmm, yup, they were right...Explaining it kills the joke.