Happy St. Paddy’s Day or Lá Fhéile Pádraig, if you’re feeling something more Irish/Gaelic!
As the Irish say: “There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.” I am very clearly not Irish, but have always been fascinated with their history and today, I definitely wish I were in Dublin or Belfast to celebrate St. Patrick’s day with them… but hey, early celebrations happened this weekend in Trafalgar Square, so I can’t say that I missed out on too much! In honor of the patron saint and the emerald isle, here is a short playlist of my favorite Irish fiddle tunes, Irish artists, and just some traditional songs! (Sham)rock along to these – enjoy! [Bonus: if you haven’t seen this awesome Irish Riverdance on YouTube yet, here ya go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgGAzBDE454]
The Wild Rover – Honestly, this song makes me think of what an authentic Irish pub must be like. Really great song to sing along to – tbh, has been stuck in my head the past week or so…
Mist Covered Mountains of Home – I don’t know if this is a traditional fiddle song, or if it was a more recently composed take on a song, but it’s tied as my favorite fiddle song. It was the song that got me obsessed with fiddle and folk music.
Into the Mystic – We all know Van Morrison’s classic “Brown Eyed Girl”, but that reminds me of home and the shore… so here is an alternate, but equally great song from him!
Breathless – YAS THE CORRS. Here is a classic song from them. BUT GUYS, they just got back together again and are on tour and I am fangirling a little (okay, a lot). But they are amazingly talented musicians and siblings. This song never gets old!
The Butterfly – Shoutout to Celtic Woman because they are fabulous. This is tied with my all time favorite Irish fiddle song (see above – #2), this was the song that convinced me to test out fiddle music (I’m terrible violinist, so it doesn’t sound that good no matter what style of music I play…)! Also, if you’ve ever read or seen The Secret of Roan Inish, I’m pretty sure this song happens somewhere in the movie.
Mandinka – What is an Irish playlist without mention of Sinéad O’Connor? A little more rock ‘n’ roll than Irish jig, but hey, I did warn you before that my music taste is eclectic.
Carrickfergus – A traditional Irish song, and a little more mellow at that. I’ve chosen Jim McCann/The Dubliner’s version, but there are many covers of the song that are equally as amazing! (e.g. Celtic Woman, Charlotte Church, etc.)
My Lagan Love – Another traditional Irish song. I first heard this when I was younger and listening to Charlotte Church who did a cover of this song. Again, I’ve chosen Celtic Woman’s rendition on the song, but there are a ton of people who’ve covered the song as beautifully. (e.g. Charlotte Church, Lisa Hannigan & the Chieftans, etc.)
Belfast – Really intense flute (I think it might actually be a tin whistle?) piece, and it is just so evocative of everything Irish! Mad props to Brian Finnegan & his band on this, not easy to play tin whistle-wise or guitar-wise.
Linger – A less aggressive song from the Cranberries, but a good one – though a bit sad/heartbreaking. It’s such a good song though, you can’t deny that!
Like Real People Do – My Irish crooner, Hozier. His voice is angelic and melts me every time. Couldn’t leave him out of this playlist if I tried.
Low Rising – The Swell Season (they were the one’s in the movie Once – which inspired the Broadway musical – I have another shoutout to them at the end of this playlist) is amazing, though only one half is Irish (Glen Hansard). But it still counts. This is really swell and mellow song to relax to.
Come on Eileen – Technically the Dexys Midnight Runners weren’t from Ireland (I think the main singer was of Irish decent?) but it is a good song that draws on some Irish instrumentation/influence, so why not include it?
Carraroe/Out On The Ocean – One more fiddle tune for you all! Both songs are some of my favorites. I’ve heard versions with quicker tempos, but at any tempo I still enjoy them. There isn’t a good video of the two songs as a mashup, but here they are separately! [Carraroe (tin whistle version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMINMMT1RNo; Out On The Ocean (fiddle duet version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NcN5bE8wXA]
Gold – I end this playlist with one of my newly favorite musical/movie soundtracks, Once. If you haven’t seen the movie (which the musical was inspired by) definitely give it a watch as the musical is no longer on Broadway (though it is returning to Dublin this summer!) One of my favorites, I’ve linked you all to the Tony performance, but definitely listen to the movie version as well by Interference/Glen Hansard.