If anyone's ever watched The Cardinal
, the 1963 (loose) adaptation of the 1950 novel of the same name (the movie is great for the clerical vesture, but Tom Tryon has all the emotional range of a box of Cheerios), you know this fin-de-siecle ditty
, which always amuses me. But if you don't...
I've studied things Egyptic
Those writings weird and cryptic
Upon the tombs that dot Sahara's sands
I've solved each strange inscription
Left by each wise Egyptian
And hold the mystic secret in my hands...
The Irish were Egyptians long ago
Just read between the lines and you will know...
It must have been the Irish, who built the pyramids,
For no one else could carry up the bricks.
It must have been a Doyle, who swam the river Nile,
For no one but an Irishman could fight a crocodile.
And every Houlihan once led a caravan;
They say the same for every Mc and O.
When Moses came to Egypt and saw those Irish faces,
He took the name of Callahan and changed it to O'Asis.
Now all the Houlihans and all the Gilligans
Must have been Egyptians long ago-o-o-o-o-o...
There's also a verse about Cleopatra being from Connemara, which sort of weakens their theory, as Cleopatra was Greek. (Duh!) But, ah well. It seems only fair. The Romans and Brits have been pretending to be Trojans for years, Athanasius Kircher once definitively proved the ancient Egyptians were the ancient Chinese (which must mean that the Chinese are Irish, the ultimate in fusion cuisine), while my favorite misanthrope Florence King was once told by a little old geneology-mad Southern lady (all old Southern ladies are geneology-mad) that the Scots are named after Scotia, the princess who fished Moses out of the river. Though, as far as I know, Cubans are quite content to just be Cubans rather than Abraham's second cousins twice removed or the great-grandchildren of the Grand Tartar. We're quite secure in our greatness.