From 1927 song by Mort Dixon made popular in 1948 by Art Mooney:

I'm looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before.
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain,
Third is the roses that grow in the lane.
No need explaining the one remaining
Is somebody I adore.
I'm looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before.

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, but have you ever stopped to think about what the meaning is behind one of the most recognizable symbols of Ireland, the shamrock? Here are some little-known facts about the leafy green icon to bring you up to speed on the St. Patty’s Day lucky charm.

Shamrock, which comes from the Irish word “seamrog,” means “little clover.”

The shamrock is a registered trademark of the Republic of Ireland.

There has been much debate over which species of clover represents the shamrock.

The shamrock symbolized the rebirth of spring in ancient Ireland.

The shamrock became a religious symbol because it has three leaves, and three is a magic number in Celtic religion. Legend has it that the druids in ancient Ireland considered the shamrock sacred because the leaves form a triad.

Three is also a significant number in Christianity, because it represents the Holy Trinity. It is widely thought that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to educate Irish people about Christianity in the fifth century, although some say it is a mere myth.

People ate the Shamrock in times of harsh famine.

In the 17th century the shamrock became associated with Irish nationalism and rebellion against the English. During this time is perhaps when it became symbolic of the Irish identity. It has even been rumored that anyone wearing the emblem was subject to death by hanging.

On St. Patrick’s Day, a Shamrock is presented to the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army by a member of the British Royal Family.

In a survey conducted in 1988 concerning shamrocks at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin, it was revealed that when the Irish shamrock can be any one of four plants, three of which are clovers, while the fourth is a clover-like plant called a medick.

It is widely believed that the significance invested in four leaf clovers pre-dates Christianity, going back to the pagan period, when four leaf clovers were Celtic charms.

The leaves of four leaf clovers are sometimes said to stand for faith, hope, love, and luck.

On St. Patrick's Day every year, Aer Lingus, the airline of Ireland, flies fresh shamrock to Irish Embassies all over the globe for their traditional diplomatic parties.

Shamrocks belong to the family Leguminosae.

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