Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Share via Twitter Share via Facebook Share via Linkedin Share via Reddit

Some people love Christmas, some people New Year’s, some people Memorial Day. Everyone’s got a favorite, but for my part, I’m most fond of St. Patrick’s day. It’s not the fact that bars open at noon (or at least, not solely because of that), it’s the celebration of all things Irish. TV is flooded with shows like Ireland in America, readings of Anglea’s Ashes abound, and best of all, Irish music gets its one day a year in the sun.

My family has been here for several generations (I miss qualifying for Irish citizenship by one generation), and we frankly have little Irish culture left (apart from a large, Catholic side of the family that enjoys feuding) with one exception: music. I never embraced Irish literature to the degree that my parents did (my Mom was once published in the Joyce quarterly), but music was something we could all agree on.

Some of my earliest memories are of my Dad playing (on LPs, no less) The Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, the Chieftains, and other musicians who’ve furthered the rich tradition of Irish music heritage. The funny thing is that when I was kid, I didn’t just not like the music, I loathed it. It went beyond the typical “child hating parents music” deal – I couldn’t stand it. Long car trips anywhere were a test of endurance, as we’d go from one Irish artist to another.

But a funny thing happened as I got older; against my will, so gradually I wasn’t even aware of the change, I learned to love everything from the reels to the traditionals to deeper, IRA blighted tracks like “The Patriot Game” (no relation to the movie). So, as one of the few bloggers (tech bloggers, anyway) lucky enough to have an apostrophe in his last name, here are my recommended playlists for your St. Patrick’s festivities. One’s traditional, the other is contemporary artists with Irish roots. Whatever your listening habits, I guarantee you’ll find something you can listen to. Plus, it’ll save you from having to listen to awful renditions of Danny Boy all day. Most tracks are available on either iTunes or emusic.com, or both.



(as for artists, I recommend Makem and Clancy, but the Dubliners, Chieftains and others do very capable renditions of all of the tracks below)

1. Gallant Forty-Twa
2. Jug of Punch
3. The Moonshiner
4. The Bold Tenant Farmer
5. Beer, Beer, Beer
6. Water is Alright in Tay
7. Drink it Up Men
8. All for Me Grog
9. The Wild Colonial Boy
10. Whack for the Diddle
11. Reilly’s Daughter
12. The Jolly Tinker
13, Red Haired Mary
14. Finnegan’s Wake
15. Johnny McAdoo
16. Isn’t it Grand Boys
17. Whiskey You’re the Devil
18. Bog Down in the Valley
19. Take Me up to Monto
20. A Nation Once Again


1. Rebels of the Sacred Heart – Flogging Molly
2. Boys on the Docks – Dropkick Murphy’s
3. Sea Shanty – The Pogues
4. Nil na La – SOLAS
5. Tomorrow Comes a Day Too Soon – Flogging Molly
6. The Irish Rover – The Pogues
7. Drops of Brandy – Finbar & Eddie Furey
8. Caught in a Jar – Dropkick Murphy’s
9. The Flowing Bowl – SOLAS
10. The Ol’ Beggars Bush – Flogging Molly
11. The Yellow Tinker – SOLAS
12. Quart of Gin – The Prodigals
13. I Ain’t Marching Anymore – 4 to the Bar
14. Forever – Dropkick Murphy’s


  1. Good choices. I remember Nick going up to the mike in Ireland and singing Jug of Punch-at the age of six. Then he fell asleep with his head on his plate at dinner.

  2. Great Irish music on BBC Late Junction tonight, also available on the Internet. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/latejunction/

    Late Junction
    17 March 2005
    Thursday 17 March 2005 22:15-0:00 (Radio 3)

    Fiona Talkington celebrates St Patrick's Day with traditional and contemporary music from Ireland, including tracks by De Danann, Sharon Shannon and Roger Doyle.

  3. SOGSR: that was priceless. Nick always was a little showman.

    Richard: thanks for the link. I missed it, alas, but hope that someone else caught it.

    For those visiting here later, I also got a reminder that for Irish contemporary you should check out the Corrs. My bad for missing them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *