Famous Irish Songs

Looking for famous Irish songs? Want to know about all the different types of famous songs available? Read our guide for more information on choosing the right song for you…

Variety Of Famous Irish Songs

Ireland is separated from the rest of mainland Europe. Its isolation from Continental musical traditions and influences enabled the Irish to develop their own unique songs. ‘Sean-nos’ or ‘old style’ songs are famous Irish songs that are poetic and lyrical in nature. They were first put to music several centuries ago to the accompaniment of the lyre or harp.

The Irish isles is home to famous Irish songs like ‘Molly Malone’ which is also known as ‘Cockles and Mussels’. This song is a ballad composed sometime in the mid 1800s and is credited to a Scotsman named James Yorkton. This song has become the anthem of the city of Dublin in Ireland and the Irish people built a statue to the memory of Molly Malone. It stands on Grafton Street and is lovingly called ‘The Tart with a Cart’ by the local populace.

Not all famous Irish songs were composed by the Irish. ‘Danny Boy’ is a famous song that was penned by an Englishman in 1910 called Fred Weatherly. It was set to music to the tune of ‘Londonderry Air’ which is often regarded by inhabitants of Northern Ireland as their national anthem. ‘Danny Boy’ is played repeatedly on St Patrick’s Day by Irish Americans who emigrated to the New World in the 18th century.

Irish Songs Of Political Origin

Famous Irish songs were often politically inspired like ‘A Nation Once Again’ which is a nationalist anthem of Ireland composed in the 19th century and inspired Irishmen during the Irish Rebellion. The Great War of 1914-1918 witnessed the birth of an enduring Irish classic, ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’. “Salonica’ was an Irish song that spoke of the Irishmen who fought in the British Army in the First World War.

The 18th century saw the Irish rise against British rule in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Famous Irish songs that commemorated this historical event were sad songs like ‘The Croppy Boy’ that told of family members who denied any association with condemned rebels for fear of being persecuted by the British.

Famous Irish songs are sung to this day because they accurately reflect the spirit of the Irish. These songs developed independently of mainland Europe and are uniquely Irish in nature.

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