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The Gift of Gab (or Is It Just Blarney?)

The much-beloved myth that being held upside down and backward from the top of a tall castle to kiss a rock brings you the ability to talk up a storm is actually quite new, although the Blarney association with the gift of gab goes back a long way. It is believed to have been Queen Elizabeth I who created it in the 16th century, in a fit of exasperation at the ability of then-Lord Blarney to prattle on at great length without actually ever agreeing to what she wanted. The custom of kissing the stone, though, is less than a century old. Nobody knows quite why it started, but around here they've got a thousand possible tales, some involving witches and others the crusaders, but don't believe them. It's all a bunch of . . .

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