A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 01, 2020
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back…“ (Irish blessing)

An old Gaelic blessing—as it commonly assumed to be—has been cited in English print since at least 1946:

“May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back.
And may God hold you
In the hollow of His hand.“


However, it is not known if an original Gaelic blessing exists in this form.

The saying is popular on St. Patrick’s Day. The exact saying was popularized in the syndicated newspaper columns of New York City author and publisher Harry H. Schlacht.


Newspapers.com
17 March 1946, Pittsburgh (PA) Sun-Telegraph, “This Is St. Patrick’s Day“ by Harry H. Schlacht, sec. 2, pg. 3, col. 3:
May we close with an old-fashioned Irish prayer:

“May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back.
And may God hold you
In the hollow of His hand.“


Newspapers.com
17 March 1947, Pittsburgh (PA) Sun-Telegraph, “St. Patrick’s Day“ by Harry H. Schlacht, pg. 2, col. 2:
“May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back.
And may God hold you
In the hollow of His hand.“
-- An Irish Prayer.


Newspapers.com
17 March 1949, San Francisco (CA) Examiner, “This Is St. Patrick’s Day“ by Harry M. Schlacht, pg. 10, col. 2:
May we close with an old-fashioned Irish prayer?

“May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back.
And may God hold you
In the hollow of his hand.“

Newspapers.com
5 September 1953, St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, pg. 4, col. 3:
An Irish Wish
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be ever at your back
May the good Lord ever keep you in the hollow of His hand
May your heart be as warm as your hearthstone
And when you come to die may the wail of the poor be the only sorrow you’ll leave behind.
May God bless you always.

June 1954, Redbook (New York, NY), “Half-Wish, Half-Prayer“ by Matt Taylor, pg. 22:
May the wind be at your back,
May the road rise up to meet you,
And may God always hold you in the palm of His hand.

Newspapers.com
14 June 1954, The Morning Herald (Uniontown, PA), “Matchbox,“ pg. 14, col. 4:
As a closing we pass this on:

May the wind be at your back,
May the road rise up to meet you
And may God always hold you in the palm of His hand.

Newspapers.com
17 March 1955, Binghamton (NY) Press, pg. 6, col. 1:
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
And may God hold you
In the hallow of His hand.
-- AN IRISH PRAYER.

18 April 1962, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Readers’ Clearing House,” pg. C-10, col. 4:
The verses for which you wanted to know the author, “May the road rise to meet you and may the wind be ever at your back,” are from an old Gaelic blessing.

Google Books
Respectfully Quoted:
A Dictionary of Quotations

Edited by Suzy Platt
New York, NY: Barnes and Noble, Inc.
1993
Pg. 277:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be ever at your back
May the Good Lord keep you in the hollow of His hand.
May your heart be as warm as your hearthstone.
And when you come to die
may the wail of the poor
be the only sorrow
you’ll leave behind.
May God bless you always.
Pg. 278:
Author unknown, “An Irish Wish.“—Ralph L. Woods, A Third Treasury of the Familiar, p. 644 (1970).

Another version of this popular Irish blessing:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Google Groups: alt.quotations
THANKS! (Re: “May the road rise up...")
coffen ronald
5/16/94
Thank you all very much for your response to “May the road rise up to meet you” question.  I have received four responses, and they are all consistent.  For those who are interested, here’s the full quote:

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the rain fall softly on your fields,
May the sun shine warmly on your face,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thanks all.  Ron…

Ron Asbestos Dippold
5/16/94
(coffen ronald) writes:
>question.  I have received four responses, and they are all consistent.  For
>those who are interested, here’s the full quote:

There is an alternate version which is a curse… Just for completeness.

May the road rise up to meet you / May the wind be always at your back
And may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
And may you drop dead in a valley / so you won’t have so far to go.

The Daltaí Discussion Forums
Full Gaelic(Irish) Version of: “May The Road Rise to Meet You…
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 07:59 am: 
Go n-éirí an bóthar leat
Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl
Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d’aghaidh
Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna
Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís,
Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 10:57 am:
I have always had a strong suspiscion that this was composed in English; using pieces of Irish blessings. Does anybody know the origin?

YouTube
Irish proverb, written & spoken - Go n-éirí an bóthar leat (in Gaelic script with audio)
Sep 20, 2010
NativLang
“Go n-éirí an bóthar leat” is among the most celebrated Irish sayings. Often translated poetically as “may the road rise to meet you”, a more prosaic translation is “may you succeed in the journey”.

I write the phrase in Gaelic script as well as standard Roman letters, and then pronounce the phrase aloud.

Irish Central
May the Road Rise Up to Meet You - the story behind the traditional Irish blessing
James Wilson @jameswilson1919 Jul 24, 2017
It’s the most well known Irish blessing, but what exactly are the origins of the much-loved blessing May the road rise up to meet you?
In full, the blessing, which is also used as a prayer, reads as follows:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Originally written in the Irish language, the prayer – the author is unknown – has three main images, namely wind, sun and rain. Fittingly for something written so long ago, the ancient Irish’s deep connection to nature and Ireland’s ever-changing elements shine through.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Sunday, March 01, 2020 • Permalink