If you’re intending to visit our Emerald Isle, then you’re sure to end up in an Irish pub enjoying a session! So when you sit back with a nice creamy pint of our famous Guinness, here are some Irish songs you are likely to hear…
Our Irish pubs are famous the world over, as there’s no better place to enjoy, good food, good drink and good craic! This is also where you’ll find some of the best Irish music and Irish dancing, so make sure to pop down to the local watering hole when you’re here, and don’t worry – you’re never too far from a traditional Irish pub no matter where you stay!
If you want to listen to some good ould Irish songs, then head to the pub. Look for a traditional Irish pub, which usually has music every night during July and August. If you’re here in the quieter months, pubs are likely to have entertainment only on Saturday nights. The best way to find a good music session is just to stroll around the town and see for yourself. Most pubs will have music advertised in the local paper or maybe on a billboard or notice board at the entrance to the pub. (Check out our list of Irish pubs).
There are thousands of Irish songs, some still sung in Gaelic (Irish language) but most nowadays sung in the English language. One of the most popular Irish songs you’re likely to hear while in Ireland is the Fields of Athenry. It’s a folk song about the Great Irish Famine (1845), but was only composed in the 1970′s. Today, this song has become one of our favourite national songs and not only is it the anthem for County Galway and Ireland but also Glasgow Celtic FC.
Another popular Irish song is Danny Boy. This is another Irish folk song, which was first written about 1913, although it’s a bit unclear where this song originated from. It has been recorded by a long list of bands and singers which include Bing Crosby, Cher, Johnny Cash, Charlotte Church, Elvis and Thin Lizzy to name a few.
Other Irish songs you’ll hear include the favourites When Irish Eyes are Smiling, The Wild Rover, The Auld Triangle, The Irish Rover, Whiskey in the Jar, Some say the devil is Dead, Black is the Colour, My Irish Molly, Fiddlers Green, Seven Drunken Nights, Rare Ould Mountain Dew, Black Velvet Band, The Streets of New York and the Rare Ould Times.
Each county in Ireland is also represented by its own song. For example Cockles and Muscles is a County Dublin song, Rose of Tralee – a Kerry song, Lovely Rose of Clare – County Clare, The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee – County Cork, Galway Shawl/Fields of Athenry – County Galway, The Curragh of Kildare – Kildare, The Rose of Mooncoin – Kilkenny, Limerick You’re a Lady – County Limerick, The Isle of Inishfree – Sligo, Slievenamon – County Tipperary, The Meeting of the Waters – County Wicklow. So if you’re at a gaelic football match or if you happen to be staying in one of these counties, you’re likely to hear the county song played at some stage.
Ireland is steeped in a long and eventful history and a lot of it is remembered through song. Famous Irish songs which are reminiscent of our past include, A Nation Once Again, Sean South from Garryowen, Banna Strand, Oró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile (O Ró you are welcome home), The Rising of the Moon, Spancil Hill and the Green Fields of France to name a few.
One Irish song that you’re bound to hear every night is Amhrán na bhFiann – Ireland’s national anthem. It translates as ‘The Soldiers Song’ and was composed about 1907. It’s usually the last song of night and all present must stand when it is sung.
Why not brush up on your Irish songs now so that you can sing along when you come to Ireland?
Why not let us know what is your favourite Irish song and why? If you’d like to add more popular Irish songs to this list then just pop them into the box below. We also appreciate any questions or comments too!