So, it was suggested that I put this on the blog because this is the sort of ephemeral nonsense that I put on Facebook, but no one’s on Facebook anymore. For St Patrick’s Day this year, I did a week and half countdown music wise.
- Fiddler’s Green, The Night Pat Murphy Died
St Patrick’s Day is only 10 days away and you know what that means… we’ve got to start the musical countdown. Because what’s not to love about a holiday dedicated to alcohol and mischievous religion. St Patrick is best known for driving the snakes out of Ireland… (wait for it) …because there were never any snakes in Ireland. Blame the Ice Ages. Not to mention the troubles caused by leprechauns and fairies.
- Enter the Haggis, One Last Drink
It feels like death is a big part of Irish music. But not in a fearful way. More of detailed instructions on how to have a proper wake.
- Flatfoot 56, I’ll Fly Away
If you know anything about me yet, know that I love a good song cover where the musicians embrace the song as their own. I’ll Fly Away, the stereotypical depression era bluegrass gospel hymn, by an Irish punk bar band? I’m all in.
- Jeremy Kittel, The Golden-Plover Set
Something I found interesting when I started to play traditional music is that it’s all about dancing, no one sat and listened to music, but the songs are incredibly short, maybe a minute, an 8 bar A part and an 8 bar B part and you’re done. Now you do repeat them over and over and people step up and take solos. But there’s also a concept of a set, where you take 3 songs — a jig and 2 reels maybe — in the same key and merge them together and nobody really notices because they’re dancing.
- Deanie Richardson, Murchadh Tobha churraig dhuibh
You knew I was going to work in a musician I know, my fabulous Grammy nominated, Grand Ole Opry playing, fiddle instructor. Because all music is personal. All music we embrace and collect is part of our journey. Somewhere.
- The Pogues, Turkish Song of the Damned
You can’t do Irish music without throwing in the Pogues. And what’s not to love about a band who’s name was a bastardization of the Gaelic expression that means “kiss my arse”. And this song where a Celtic punk band with traditional Irish instruments interprets Turkish music with a pirate theme?
- Dropkick Murphys, Rose Tattoo
As we get closer to green beer hour, my selections become more predictable. Google Irish Rock and the Dropkick Murphys pop right out.
- The Dreadnoughts, Roll the Woodpile Down
There seems to be a sub genre of Celtic punk bar bands (mostly Canadian) that sing sea shanties in beautiful 4 part harmony. I mean, just don’t worry about the lyrics.
- The Tossers, Siobhán
Siobhán is the Irish version of the name, Joan. And the rest of the song is about drinking.
- The Young Dubliners, I’ll Tell Me Ma
On St Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, everyone is red haired and freckles. If only we had more holidays where we were ‘other’ for a day, maybe we would stop being Irish or black or Muslin and start being human.
- Flogging Molly, To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh)
Happy St Patrick’s Day. And for my final countdown song, you know I have to be going with Flogging Molly.