State Senator Merlin Bartz, a Republican from Grafton in north central Iowa, turned 50 today.  In a preview of coming attractions, Senator Joe Seng, a Democrat from Davenport, played “Happy Birthday” for Bartz this morning on the senate floor.  Yes, as you may have guessed from the headline above, Seng was playing the song on his accordion.

For those of you who thought the days of accordion music in the Iowa legislature were gone when former State Representative Ed Fallon exited the statehouse, you are now disabused of that notion. Fallon often played the accordion on St. Patrick’s Day in the Iowa House as one former state legislator (Dolores Mertz) danced the Irish jig and another (John Connors, God rest his soul) walked up and down the aisles waving the Irish flag.  Plus, Fallon accompanied former state Representative Dan Boddicker, a Republican from Tipton, once or twice as Boddicker sang “Oh Danny Boy” on St. Patrick’s Day.

Sources tell me the Iowa Senate will be the site of a performance of “Oh Danny Boy” on St. Patrick’s Day 2011, and the two senators mentioned in paragraph one above will be the performers.