Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin Go Bragh!!

Oh, I woke me up this morning and I heard a joyful song
From the throats of happy Irishmen, a hundred thousand strong
Shure it was the Hibernian Brigade
Lining up for to start the big parade
So I fetched me Sunday bonnet and the flag I love so well
And I bought meself a shamrock just to wear in me lapel
Don't you know that today's March seventeen?
It's the day for the wearing of the green

It's a great day for the Irish, it's a great day for fair
The side-walks of New York are thick with Blarney
For shure you'd think New York was Old Killarney
It's a great day for the Shamrock, for the flags in full array
We're feeling so inspirish, shure because for all the Irish
It's a great, great day

It's a great day for the Irish, it's a great day for fair
Begosh, there's not a cop to stop a raiding
Begorrah all the cops are out parading
It's a great day for the Shamrock, for the flags in full array
And as we go a-swinging, every Irish heart is singing
It's a great, great day
Though I've never been one to really celebrate St. Patrick's day, due to many of the negative connotations, and the fact that it's mainly a "Holiday" for drinking. However, I decided I would still do a tribute to Ireland through my favorite Irish songs, done by my favorite Irish artist. I hope you will enjoy!!

Although the song was originally written by an Englishmen it has become one of the most famous "Irish" songs in the history of the Green Isle. 
Many listeners have interpreted this song as being sung by a father to his son. And while that interpretation does seem to fit the song, it was in fact written from the point of view of a young lady. When the song is sung by a lad instead of a lass, "Danny Boy" should be replaced with "Eily Dear"



"Whiskey in the Jar" is a famous traditional Irish song, set in the southern mountains of Ireland with specific mention of Cork and Kerry counties. It is about a highwayman, or perhaps a footpad who is betrayed by his wife or lover after a run in with "Captain Farrel"


This character song from Percy French is from County Clare, an area in which French often painted in watercolors. He was a very accomplished painter, as well as dedicating himself to his songwriting. This charming song tells of lads in love with the same young woman, looking for the best strategy to win her.



"The Fields of Athenry" started out originally as a poem, written during the Irish Potato famine in the 19th Century and was not to be set to music until the 1970s when famous composer Pete St John, took up the project. The solitary tune fits perfectly with the words and and sentiment of the story. The poem tells us of a young man who stole corn from a Lord Trevelyan in order to feed his staving family. The young man was chased down and subsequently sent to Botany Bay on the prison continent of Australia. He leaves behind a young bride and children.


"I'll Tell Me Ma" is yet another English song, adapted by the Irishmen. The words "She's the Belle of Belfast City" were in England "She's the Belle of the Goldon City (or London City)". The song was originally written as a children's nursery song.



"The Leaving of Liverpool" also known as "Fare Thee Well, My Own True Love", is a folk ballad, a popular and wistful song. The song's narrator laments his long sailing trip to America and the thought of leaving his birthplace and loved ones (especially his "own true love"). Liverpool was the natural point of embarkation because it had the necessary shipping lines and a choice of destinations and infrastructure, including special emigration trains directly to The Prince's Landing Stage (which is mentioned in the song's first line).
It was collected as a sailor's song, but recorded only twice, from the Americans Richard Maitland and Captain Patrick Tayluer. Maitland learned it from a Liverpool man on board the General Knox around 1885. It was collected from him by Bill Doerflinger, an American folk-song collector particularly associated with sea-songs, in New York. 
(Ignore the beginning of this one. lol. These lads LOVE to have fun.)


This song tells of a young woman Anna "Annie" Moore who came from County Cork, Ireland to America at the tender age of fifteen years. She was the very first immigrant to pass through the gates of Ellis Island.  As the first to pass through, Annie was given a gold piece worth $10.00. 
Annie and her parents settled in Manhattan and Annie later married a German immigrant by the name of
Joseph Augustus Schayer. Annie died of heart failuer on December 6, 1924 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens. Her previously unmarked grave was identified in September 2006. On October 11, 2008, a dedication ceremony was held at Calvary which celebrated the unveiling of a marker for her grave, a Celtic Cross made of Irish Blue Limestone.


Considered by many to be one of the saddest ballads in Irish history, this song never ceases to bring tears to my eyes. The history is told in the video. Please read and listen closely.


Finnegan's Wake is a work of comic fiction, written by Irish author James Joyce during a stay in Paris. Although it's a song only Irishmen can truly understand, due to the multilingual puns, it's a classic and far too much fun!!



"The Town I Loved So Well" is a song written by Phil Coulter about his childhood in Derry, North Ireleand The first three verses are about the simple lifestyle he grew up with in Derry, while the final two deal with the fall out of Ireland's troubles with England, and lament how his placid hometown had become a major military outpost, plagued with violence.



"Will You Go Lassie, Go", is a folk song, written by William McPeake, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland and first recorded by McPeake in 1957. It is often mistakenly believed to be a traditional song, but the copyright is held by English Folk Dance and Song Society Publications, who published it for McPeake.It was first recorded by Francis McPeake in 1957, but the song was truly made famous by Irish sensations "The 
Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem". As most great ballads, the song speaks of true love in carefree times.


"The Irish Rover" is a song of extreme exaggeration about a ship, setting sale for America, who's crew and eventually the ship itself, meet with grave misfortune. It is truly one of the most fun Irish songs I've ever come up against.


I could go on and on with me favorite Irish songs, for my love of the classic ballads never will end. I thought it appropriate to end this post with one of the most beautiful Irish songs ever written "The Parting Glass". I have been to two concerts now where it was sung and was surprise to find that my sister and I were the only ones in the audience who seemed to know the lyrics!! The song, as you can well imagine by the title, was written as a song of farewell to friends and is often in parting at Irish gatherings and funerals.


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
 May the rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.



  1. I love to see Liam Clancy jumping up and down in "I Tell Me Ma." That's also cute sung by The Kilkennys.

  2. Wonderful compilation of favorites my friend! Wishing you a very Happy St Patrick's Day!

  3. Lovely! I adore Irish music and listen to it all the time! This is a great list of favorites, I love Celtic Woman, The High Kings and The Clancy Brothers - these songs are all my favorites!
    Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

    ~Miss Laurie
    Old-Fashioned Charm

  4. Glad you all enjoyed it!! My High Kings concert post coming soon!!


"Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows
Fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any."