Pretty Much Pop #86: What Irish Means w/ Black 47’s Larry Kirwan

Another St. Patrick’s Day has passed, and this one probably without a lot of green-beer-at-the-pub-action. Let’s talk about what sort of representation of Ireland we were supposed to get out of all that merriment, as it’s certainly not akin to the stern, very religious ceremonies that we the growing-up experience of our guest Larry, who’s written books, plays and many songs emanating from and often about his Irish heritage.

He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the appeal in the U.S. of Irish culture and how it relates to history, who gets to define what’s authentically Irish, slurs and stereotypes, the range of Irish music, the character of Irish humor, Larry’s journey as front man for Black 47, and his new novel about Irish cops on 9/11: Rockaway Blue (enter 09FLYER at checkout on the Cornell Press site for a discount).

Watch one of Black 47’s old videosWikipedia lies about TimWhat is Ireland’s REAL national color?

This episode includes bonus discussion you can access by supporting the podcast at This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by

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Larry reads his book. Or does the book READ HIM?

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