PROVIDENCE — “The leprechauns have painted Speaker Shekarchi’s jeep green.”
So begins state Rep. Joseph McNamara’s annual St. Patrick’s Day poem, which this year is aptly named: “St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
It stretches from good-natured ribbing to inside jokes to current events, including the on-going saga of Nick Alahverdian, the Rhode Island man who allegedly faked his death and came back to life as Arthur Knight in Scotland.
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It goes something like this: “Dressed in tailored green tuxes, Reps Hull and Lombardi are quite a sight/They are marching with a Scot named Arthur Knight.”
Ukraine, homelessness and marijuana legalization are interspersed with “Shamrock shakes” and Colombian coffee beans. A sampling:
‘St. Patrick’s Day Parade’
“Rep. Casimiro marches with adopted children who are all smiling and dressed in green/Rep. Cassar marches with the homeless, stating ‘It’s important that they’re seen.'”
The golfers, the sailors, the House weightlifter all get a nod.
Since first names would unavoidably mess up the rhythm, McNamara – who doubles as the state Democratic Party chairman – leaves them by the side of the parade route.
But here’s the House roster, for those seeking the full names and district numbers of his colleagues and poetic targets:
And for those who don’t get all of the inside jokes, take heart: no one on the outside ever will.
Some excerpts from McNamara’s poem, read aloud to laughter in the cavernous House chamber:
“Leader Blazejewski heads the Polish division, walking with an Irish cane/The Honorary Grand Marshals this year are the Defenders of the Ukraine.
“Reps O’Abney, Vella-Wilkinson and Azzinaro lead The Irish Vets Division/They all march with great precision.
“Rep Ranglin-Vassell marches with the Irish/Jamaican bobsled team/It is every bobsledders coach’s dream.
“The Rainbow Division is led by Reps. Ajello and Kislak of the fashionable East Side/The crowd erupts for Irish pride.
“The leprechauns are singing, ‘When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, it’s Rep Amore.’
“The Pawtucket delegation, Reps. Barros, Felix, Duffy-Messier, Tobin, Alzate and Shallcross Smith are all looking very cool/They are marching with a beautiful float of the new Pawtucket High School.”
“Reps. Corvese, Costantino and Cardillo ride the St. Joseph’s Day float yelling ‘Buongiorno tutti’ nice and loud/ Bringing cheers from the massive crowd.
“Rep. Slater is handing out shamrock cannabis for free/It just makes you lucky because there is no THC.
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“Reps. Donovan and Carson treat the parade environment with care/They make sure no green balloons float up in the air.
“Reps. Serpa and Lima march with the SPCA/They are followed by cute puppies and kittens that will not stray.
“Rep. Williams is driving The Rosa Parks bus/Its sign on the side reads Irish and Black History are the stories of us.
“A huge roar from the crowd is heard on this St. Patrick’s Day/It’s Rep. Diaz dancing the Irish merengue.
“The Irish pub owners wrap corned beef to go with a beer/And start cheering as Rep. Baginski comes near.
“Reps. Craven and Fogarty have placed the Irish Heroes float in a special spot/Its theme is very simple ‘Ask Not.’
“Rep. McLaughlin marches sipping a beer/He’s celebrating being named The Irish Mechanic of the Year!”
“Rep. Casimiro marches with adopted children who are all smiling and dressed in green/Rep. Cassar marches with the homeless, stating, ‘It’s important that they’re seen.’
“Reps. Handy and Hawkins are riding a quadricycle serving green beer/They are the designated drivers, so you have nothing to fear.
“Rep. Biah has the student choir of Alvarez High School on hand/I can’t believe they are singing ‘McNamara’s Band.’
“Rep. Henries marches, creating a virtual play/That plays tributes to artistes on this St. Patrick’s Day.
“Reps. Speakman and Knight have a leprechaun volunteer fire company from the East Bay/They’ll be cooking a clambake later today.
“Rep. Bennett, a nurse, who parade watchers hold dear/Is being chased by leprechauns, who want a lock of his hair.
“Rep. Noret marches with the Irish Police Band/While Rep. Shanley lifts a 600-pound pot of gold, with one hand.
“Rep. Potter marches and the wee little people shout/Mushrooms are our homes, please don’t lock us out.
“Rep. Marszalkowski built an Irish farm float with care/The scent of fresh flowers fill the air.”
“The Irish love a good horse race/ Rep. Tanzi and her daughter ride thoroughbreds that set the pace.
“Rep. Fellela throws green pizza chips in the air/And the crowd shouts out a gleeful cheer.”
“Reps. Ackerman and Kazarian’s Remembrance float is a solemn ride/It says ‘Never Forget the Famine, Holocaust or the Armenian Genocide.’
“Rep. Caldwell marches with local Irish brewers of beers and ales/They’re grateful she helped them increase their sales.
“Reps. Cortvriend and Filippi march barefoot along the shore/There is nothing that leprechauns and Rhode Islanders like more.
“Reps. McEntee and Ruggiero are enjoying the day/They’re marching with the Irish LPGA.
“Reps. Baptista, Giraldo, Morales and Perez ride a Progressive Latino shamrock float/That has been creating quite a few scenes/Because they’re handing out Colombian coffee beans.
“If there is a Blarney Stone in Portsmouth, it’s not well known/Reps. Edwards and McGaw, have kissed it and called it their own.
“Reps. O’Brien and Kennedy are having some fun/They’re handing out shamrock shakes for those on the run.
“Reps. Steve Lima, Casey and Phillips are handing out sandwiches, which are dynamite/Only Woonsocket Reps. could get the recipe right.
“Rep. Solomon marches with Irish wolfhounds with golden paws/He is the author of their protective laws.
“Reps. Place and Quattrocchi have used their skills to build an award-winning float/It’s a life-size version of a great Irish boat.
“Rep. Newberry navigates as Rep. Price fishes off the side/While Rep. Chippendale cooks corned beef and cabbage and serves it with pride.
“The crew of this ship is loud and merry – Rep. Roberts is the leader of this cast/They call her Captain Sherry
“At the end of the parade the physical therapy tent is set up to address all the sore feet/The leprechauns form a long line – it’s really Rep. Fenton-Fung they want to meet.”