St. Patrick’s Day Roundtable: Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Get ready for an extra special POME roundtable! POME Editor Ashley introduced our Editorial Coven to the Disney classic Darby O’Gill and the Little People — a St. Patrick’s Day tradition from her childhood. Join us for baby Sean Connery, a stirring leprechaun bromance, and the finest ghost horse SFX that 1959 had to offer.


Rachel: i am excited to talk about this movie!!!
this was a new film to all of us except Ashley, I think

Ashley: indeed

Jenny: yeah i had not seen it before and it was pretty cute and fun!
right out of the gate, i have to say that i love a property that really commits to the bit

"My thanks to King Brian of Knocknasheega and his Leprechauns, whose gracious co-operation made this picture possible. -Walt Disney"

Rachel: modern movies could NEVER

Ashley: that shit was like the word of god to child me

CC: I genuinely did not know what I was getting into for the entire duration of this movie L O L

Jenny: TWISTS AND TURNS

Rachel: ok before we get into it too much, let’s do a quick summary

CC: firstly, in lieu of our normal roundtable content, this time around we are watching a beloved film from Ashley’s childhood to celebrate st. paddy’s day
st. patty’s day?
my family is italian lol idk anything about this holiday
except that green beer is involved somehow
also snakes?

Jenny: lol that sounds about right

Ashley: i think boston ppl say st. paddy’s but it’s saint patrick so it feels like it should be st. patty’s?
anyway, i know for sure that this is an American irish thing and not a real irish thing
the snakes thing is because St. Patrick is said to have driven the snakes out of ireland
which 1. there are actually no native snakes in ireland and 2. it’s a metaphor for witches >:-|

CC: oh, rude

Jenny: agree that it feels like more of an american thing and not like a real cultural tradition thing. tbh i’ve never quite understood it bc like — we’re MID-Lent — and this is the time you choose for the big drinking holiday?? doesn’t seem very irish-catholic to me

Rachel: oh a great point!
also wow snakes as witches, so original

CC: love to have no bones lol

Rachel: CC snakes have bones!!!!

Ashley: LOL

CC: oops sorry I meant to say limbs
Digits

Rachel: LOL

Jenny: LMAO

Ashley: fingies

CC: toe jam

Ashley: bellybuttons

Jenny: phalange

CC: things I do not know about: st padrick’s day AND snakes
ANYWAY so this movie
beauty and the beast but with a leprechaun? except the protagonist was the elderly father and not the beautiful young daughter?
uh no romance also?
(no monster romance I mean)

Jenny: some romance

King Brian to Darby: "I wish I could go with you all the way."

Rachel: Garby and Brian, friends forever

Ashley: rachel, it’s DARBY

Rachel: GOD DAMMIT
look snakes have no bones and his name is Garby

Ashley: lolololollll
i can get into it

CC: bless

Jenny: but yeah they are like frenemies the whole time. all about darby trying to get 3 wishes out of king brian

Ashley: the Darby-Brian relationship is really the heart of the movie
even though there is a side hetero plot of Sean Connery and Young Woman Ne’er to Be Seen Again

Rachel: I def assumed that because it is Sean Connery he would be the main character!!!
was so happy that the main character is an old man who wants to do good by his daughter but also match wits with the king of the leprechauns!!

Ashley: he was too babby at the time
he’s like, “i will do anything to make it in hollywood, including pretending to be irish for the walt disney company”

Just a very young-looking Sean Connery.

Rachel: he is so babby
i was glad he was really a side character because all he had to do was look handsome and not let his scottish accent slip in
i wish this was all his roles

Jenny: oh man yeah but the accent work in this movie was really all over the place

Rachel: it really was lol

Jenny: felt very “to americans, all british accents sound the same so who cares” which, like: accurate

Ashley: you get what you pay for, i’m not unconvinced that this movie cost exactly $100 to make
$98 went to special effects

CC: $2 went to king brian

Jenny: the special effects were good and fun!

Ashley: i LOVE them and still do

Rachel: loved that banshee and also the possessed horse!

The technicolor banshee.
The eery, technicolor death coach.

Ashley: both of those scared the everloving jesus out of me!!!!!!

CC: crone of the year banshee chasing the dad around screamin
love this for her

Ashley: honestly don’t come for me but guillermo del toro WHO

CC: L O LL LLLLLLLLLLLLL

Jenny: but also the perspective work! i feel like they had a lot of fun w it

Darby to King Brian: "King Brian, me old boyo, I've got you at last."

Ashley: hahahahaha YESSSS
the classics really just can’t be beat

CC: so Ashley, my burning question for you is: how does this movie hold up against your memories of it?
bc every family has That Movie You Rewatch All The Time, and I’m genuinely not sure my family’s would hold up lol

Ashley: HAHA
i mean, it honestly is, i would say, a genuine quality film
they just don’t make em like this any more!!!

Rachel: i was thinking that if they made it now, there’s no way the young hot guy and gal WOULDN’T be the leads

Ashley: yup

CC: to be fair, if they made this movie now disney would have spent like 5 billion dollars on the banshee alone

Jenny: idk idk. bc i was def watching this and thinking

King Brian to Darby, as Darby holds his violin: "It was presented to me by the emperor of the Italian fairies in 1700."

Jenny: give me 6 seasons of a jonathan strange & mr norrell style prestige drama
i know disney is horny for expanding on existing properties rn and this could be a great dark horse for them

Rachel: oh i would love that, please

Ashley: i pretend i do not see it!!!

Rachel: lolll
i mean this film is good and does not need an update

CC: if anything, get leads who are better at lip synching

Ashley: i think we really have technology to blame for that one

CC: although it straight up sounds like the songs were performed by bing crosby and the andrews sisters, v hot properties of the time right? lol

Ashley: HAHAH yeah no they were def not actually singing
Darby’s fiddling tho? 100% real sync sound i will hear NO COUNTER ARGUMENTS

Jenny: LOL
i believe it

CC: I know I keep drilling into this well so pls don’t mind me i’m just curious about stuff like this
but ashley, what were like, the Big Nostalgic Moments for you in this one? the scenes that are like, burned into your brain forever from all the rewatching?
def the banshee right?
(which moments from this movie are going to replay in my head for the next 30 years L O L)
(as I’m consulting an expert here I mean)

Ashley: oh man, i mean def the banshee for sure
but also the drinking contest
and the leprechaun party
i mean, i guess it was a herald of my hedonistic youth to come because i LIVED for those leprechauns turning all the way up and just like, getting tricked
head empty, no thoughts, just getting so hot n bothered by this fiddle i’m gonna hop on my wee little horse and 100% lose my shit

CC: amazing, YES, loving that energy from them
very Wee Free Men

Jenny: bless

CC: hanging out with the boys losing it to a sick violin beat

Jenny: the dream

Rachel: me and the gals after we’re vaccinated

Jenny: lololol

Ashley: 1 0 0
i do also have that one song they sing memorized to this day

Rachel: that was very disney, maybe the most disney moment of the show
movie
i also felt like it was a bit of a reversal??
normally i feel like the handsome man stumbles on that hot gal singing

Jenny: oh true!

Rachel: appreciated that Katie got to stumble on young McBride and appreciate his voice and his muscles
good for you girl

Jenny: honestly a lot of her journey, i was like: good for you girl
they go for a walk after mass to fool around in the woods, and she really goes for it!

CC: yeah I was surprised and impressed!

Ashley: oh yeah, she’s honestly wonderful

"Atta girl!"

Jenny: i like to think that it’s because she’s strong-willed and knows what she wants
hopefully not bc she was too swayed by king brian’s suggestions

King Brian, whispering into Katie's ear: "You know, when a girl is 20, her boy will marry her up in a minute"
King Brian, whispering in Katie's ear: "but when she's 30, doesn't she have a time"

Rachel: this hit me hard lol
how dare

Ashley: HAHAHAHAHA
this was the part i had forgotten

Jenny: very tokyo tarareba

CC: what if,,, what if,,,,,
what if u buzz off king brian!!!

Ashley: automatically erase all thoughts of gender norms plz and thank u

CC: marry this hot rando u just met, because as a literal 20 year old you are running out of time
cool, perf, ty
no pressure sweety!

Ashley: also if u don’t u will be evicted

Jenny: oh god yeah the whole eviction plot was rough

Lord Fitzpatrick to Darby, letting him know he's replacing him with young Sean Connery: "I know it sounds sudden, but I've had it in mind for some time."

Jenny: landlords really do be like that

Rachel: i will say, half pay and free rent for the rest of my days…
more than i expected honestly

Jenny: i mean, yes: it was a p sweet deal in the end
but the way he brought it up
just “here i am with your replacement! please get out!”
rude

CC: “i am going to uproot you in 2 weeks, YOU’RE WELCOME”

Rachel: yeah the deceit was the real problem

Jenny: but deceit was also darby’s problem!
he could’ve just told katie what was happening! instead of just assuming she’d fall in love with his successor within 2 weeks? or that he’d be able to capture and extort a leprechaun within 2 weeks

Ashley: he did like to tell a tall tale or two

Rachel: yeah i think he had his pride
and maybe thought he could use Brian to change the outcome, although honestly that was a little unclear

Jenny: agreed! bc he didn’t really seem to know what katie wanted or what could help her
and maybe if he’d laid out the options…
explained the whole scenario…
she could’ve made an informed decision!
though if it were me, in her position, i probably just would’ve wished this asshole out of town

Pony: "What consequences?"
Pony's mom, trying to brag about her son: "He's whipped every man in the parish."

CC: WHAT CONSEQUENCES
PERFECT
LMAOOOO

Ashley: PONYYYYYYYY

CC: why is his name pony, is my big question here

Rachel: this guy was crazy!! always smiling!!

Ashley: that mf absolutely got ran outta town to america and joined the mafia

Rachel: oh i believe it

Jenny: even though pony’s mom (above pictured crone) was p blind to his faults and that made her conniving ends less righteous, i did enjoy her, ngl

Pony's mom to Katie: "So you do, so you do, but I meant a man of your own."

Jenny: if only bc we were JUST talking about matchmaking crones

Ashley: she has zero shame and i do love this about her

Rachel: i mean when you are a widow at this time!!!
it’s hard!!
your worth is determined by your no good son

CC: i guess u gotta look out for your terrible son, pony

Jenny: maybe if she’d named him after a good animal, he wouldn’t’ve turned out this way; my son, bunny, would never

Ashley: look, whoever marries katie PROBABLY gets the caretaker job and it comes with a FREE HOUSE
it’s honestly a shock they hadn’t been forcing her down the aisle at 17

CC: he does not deserve this name

Jenny: LOL

CC: maybe not relevant just always worth dropping into the chat

Jenny: that is absolutely what i thought of when i assumed that sean connery would be playing pony

Ashley: extremely relevant

Rachel: LOL

CC: what this movie needed was more male entertaining

Ashley: THIS is true

Rachel: disappointed sean connery never took his shirt off

Ashley: scything weeds is thirsty work!!

Jenny: give those leprechauns a bit more poteen and we’ll see where the night takes them i guess
and all their TINY HORSES

CC: LMAOOOO

Ashley: LMAOOOOOOO

CC: pony ft. the leprechauns

Ashley: oh god okay speaking of poteen
can we please take a gander at the old-timey racism of the movie poster

Rachel: oh for sure

The truly over-the-top Darby O'Gill movie poster.

Ashley: idk i guess it’s just a style thing but darby’s face is very 🥴

Rachel: oof yeah
i mean he had a very animated face but this seems like a lot

Ashley: also – not related – WHAT is going on in the bottom right corner

Rachel: I WAS GONNA SAY
enhance

The bottom-right corner, showing Pony and Michael presumably fighting but also maybe... something else?

CC: there is just so very much to unpack here

Ashley: somehow this actually captures the spirit of the film most of all

CC: oh yeah for sure

A not-great drawing of Michael and Katie from the bottom-left of the poster.

Rachel: this is also an unkind portrayal of katie

Ashley: yeah that just looks like a rockabilly couple on south congress

Jenny: LOL

Rachel: LOL yes exactly

CC: rockabilly…..steampunk’s slightly less awkward cousin
very into swinging

Ashley: but … more racist?

CC: sounds right i don’t know many rockabilly people
the only ones I know are very into that band flogging molly though

Ashley: i feel like at least the steampunks are very into Victorianism but Diverse
okay here is a question
which actually, is a perfect follow up to the last RR i couldn’t join
if you were granted a wish by KNOWN WISH-RUINER King Brian of the Leprechauns
what would it be?

Rachel: HMMM

CC: please leave me alone
that’s my wish
wish granting apparatuses never work out!!!

Ashley: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh my god that is genius

CC: don’t @ me king brian that’s my only wish

Rachel: lol that is very smart
i think i am not that clever, but i am dumb enough to think i could come up with a fullproof, no regrets wish
hubris

Jenny: oh very same rachel
i’m just sitting her pondering

Rachel: ok i wish for no more auto warranty spam calls ever again
please
let me be

Ashley: ooooo good one!

CC: oooh very good

Ashley: i do think the trick is to think small but maximize satisfaction

CC: feel like king smooth brain would be like “this person is 2 boring i don’t even wanna mess with her” bc you have played it all v close to the chest
not a boring wish, just a smart one!! you would have him fooled

Rachel: it feels like low stakes wishes are less likely to backfire

Jenny: what if: non-sarcastically perfect timing
as a wish
bc if you just say “perfect timing” then you’re going to end up w the worst timing ever
but if you clarify?
maybe not
idk
timing feels valuable though

CC: imo that one is so subjective, you’re giving him a lot to work with

Ashley: like… everything is your life is just timed perfectly?
yeah i agree with cc
lots of room for tricksies

Jenny: fair
but i am a gambling man i guess
go big or go home, i say
when you’ve already kidnapped another living thing

Ashley: LOL JENNY
see that’s why you and king brian would get along
he might fuck with your wish but at least you will have made a friend

Rachel: i mean i do love the idea of having what you need when you need it
right place right time

Jenny: yeah, like no overdraft fees, ever. when you go to buy a house, the interests rates are the lowest they’ve ever been and the perfect place accepts your offer right away. you get the right job at the right time. you meet the right people at the right time. seems good!
always a parking spot open right when you’re pulling up

Rachel: and Brian would respect you for the lofty ambition

Jenny: and isn’t friendship the REAL tresaure?

CC: oh v true

Rachel: it’s the leprechaun friends we made along the way

Ashley: that is definitely the thesis of the film
for me, i am a simple creature
i would simply wish for a lifetime supply of cheese that also never goes bad

Rachel: oh i love that

Jenny: brilliant

CC: parm 4 days

Rachel: if you combine that will timing, you’ll always have the right kind of cheese for the right kind of situation
no blue cheese for your pasta

Ashley: oh damn
i mean, i would eat that tho lol
as they say in old-timey ireland, a man is only worth as much as his weight in cheese…

CC: that sounds right

Rachel: we have learnt and grown so much because of this movie!!
with that, do y’all want to go into final thoughts?

CC: yeah!
mine is:
I just want to confirm, one more time, I know that snakes have bones!!!!
I am v anxious to make sure that folks know that I know that

Rachel: LOL
i laughed so hard when you said it because it is 1000% something i would say

CC: I know that snakes just don’t have blood
my bad
mea culpa

Ashley: lolololololololol
my final thought is: NEVER, EVER EVER EVER EVER EVERRRRR trust a horse !!!

Darby's possessed, technicolor horse.

Jenny: it’s TRUE!!!
THEY CANNOT BE TRUSTED!

Rachel: AHAHAH

CC: AGREED
they have no business being so big anyway

Ashley: they will simply fall under the spell of the fae at the drop of a hat

Jenny: their loyalty does not lie with ye petty mortals!!
my final thought is mostly just: i think i would like to be a leprechaun??

Darby, speaking of Knocknasheega: "and the mountain was covered with mist"
King Brian to Darby, after he's trapped him in the fairy realm: "Once you're here, there's no going back."

Jenny: little vest, little jacket, fun and diversion
live in a dope haunted castle at the top of a hill; fuck w the local townspeople for fun; sleep all day, vibe all night

Ashley: and those PERFECTLY shiny curls
i’m with u jenny

Jenny: the dream!

CC: partying every night

Rachel: it honestly sounds like a blast

Ashley: also it only takes like a tablespoon of poteen to get absolutely shitfaced

Jenny: lol then i’m already part of the way there!!

Ashley: hahahhaha

CC: LOL

Rachel: hahahaha
ok my final thought is
if they do ever remake this movie
i hope they wait like 40 years
and then cast Michelle from Derry Girls as Darby O’Gill

Michelle from Derry Girls, giving the finger: "Mull *this* over."

Ashley: omg 😍

Jenny: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i love this
DISNEY!
LISTEN! HIRE US!

CC: i really gotta watch this show!!!
guess I have a few decades to catch up and get hyped

Rachel: it’s really really good!! and michelle has the chaotic energy that I think Darby requires

Ashley: absolutely
y’all we’re really gonna give the people what they want once we do a revolution and nationalize walt disney studios

Jenny: i’m so ready

CC: amen

Rachel: we have to give the people what they want!!

Ashley: it’s the only way


Head on over to our Patreon for even more Darby O’Gill goofs — along with a discussion about all of the Classic Family Films we watched with our families over the years. Come for Patrick Swayze as Pecos Bill, stay to see Jenny unearth movies from the depths of your very own family’s VHS cabinet.

Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
Ashley Gallagher

Ashley Gallagher

Ashley writes comics and emails from zir burrow in the Pacific Northwest. Ze is a sentient subtropical swamp fern whose favorite food is old words.
Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
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