St. Brigid’s Great Lake of Beer

I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.

Attr. St. Brigid.

I was willing to believe this one is legit, but I felt like checking anyhow. Wikiquote has it, but only gives a book from 1996 as a source. The book (I found it on Google Books) doesn’t give a source, and books like this have been known to be the source of fauxtations, so I needed a better source.

I went Googling and quickly turned up the Gaelic original:

Ropadh maith lem corm-lina mor
do rígh na rígh;
Ropadh maith muinntir nimhe
acca hól tre bithe shir.

(Spelling varies between sources.)

And with that in hand, it was easy to trace it. It goes back to an 8th Century manuscript preserved (at least in the 1890s) in the Burgundian Library in Brussels in which it’s attributed to St. Brigid, and that’s about as good as you’re going to get for a 1500 year-old quotation from a largely pre-literate society. See (I am not making this up) “Highland Plant Uses”.

The moral of the story is that authentic quotations are usually easy to trace.

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