Pogues and Pugwash, Horslips and Hothouse Flowers, a dozen tracks to get jiggy with
Hey, it’s St Patrick’s Day! Time for the wearin’ of the green, “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirts, drinking Jameson and Guinness (but please, no green beer). Time for some good ol’ craic! Here’s your soundtrack to help you celebrate the day, a collection of Irish and Celtic influenced bands ‘cause you know, everyone’s Irish on St Patrick’s Day. Slainte!
Spotify playlist Link:
“Crazy World” by Aslan
The first time I heard this song was in an Irish pub in Killkenney and boy did it make an impression. When the song came on the jukebox, everyone in the pub started singing along and I was entranced. I raced over to the jukebox to find what song it was. Yes, “Crazy World” came home with me and I’m so glad it did.
Streams of Whiskey by The Pogues
Yes, I know that the Pogues aren’t an Irish band, but they deliver traditional Irish music with a snarl and plenty of attitude. Singing about whiskey cinched their place on this list.
Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly
An LA based band with a Dublin born singer. Add in violin, banjo, accordion, tin whistle and bodhrán, mix with some attitude and you get a Drunken Lullaby perfect for St Patrick’s Day.
Delirious by Luka Bloom
Luka Bloom got his start as folk singer under his given name Barry Moore and toured with his oldest brother Christy Moore, a renowned Irish folk singer himself. In 1987 he moved to the US and took the name Luka Bloom (Luka from the Suzanne Vega song and Bloom from the Jame Joyce’s Ulysses). I saw him perform a few times and even chatted with him. Will always remember him walking through the crowd saying “Make way, rock star coming through!” with his tongue firmly planted in cheek.
An Irish Pub Song by The Rumjacks
All the way from Sydney, Australia, The Rumjacks call themselves a punk rock/celtic folk band. They’ve been around since 2008 but this year is their first US tour with a stop at SXSW. I know I’ll be checking them out when they play Boston in April.
Don’t Go by Hothouse Flowers
I remember this song being all over radio in the 80’s (Well it was all over radio if you were listening to Alternative or Modern Rock or college radio stations at that time). Apparently they got their start as buskers on the streets of Dublin, then got named best unsigned band in Europe by Rolling Stone. The rest as they say is history.
King of the Fairies by Horslips
Generally known as the founding fathers of Celtic rock, Horslips were active from 1970 through 1980 but have done some reunion shows since then. So,I guess you can blame them if you’re not a fan of tin whistles combined with rock and roll.
Funky Céilí by Black 47
Black 47 were formed in NYC and I think only one person in the band actually came from Ireland (but so what?). They took traditional Celtic music and put it in a blender with hip hop, reggae jazz and whatever else they found appealing. Formed to be a political band, they were also a band known for their live shows and “Funky Céilí” was always a show stopper.
I Useta Lover by The Saw Doctors
From the West Coast of Ireland, The Saw Doctors have a fanatical following worldwide. I love this quirky (and a bit bawdy) song about an ex – a whole lot of fun.
The Emperor’s New Clothes by Sinead O’Connor
Complicated, controversial and oh so very talented, Sinead O’Connor is probably best known for her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” “The Emperor’s New Clothes” comes from the same breakout album “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got”.
Falling Slowly by The Frames
Glen Hansard formed The Frames in Dublin in 1990. If the name Glen Hansard sounds familiar maybe you saw the movie Once. And if this song sounds familiar maybe you saw the movie Once. Glen starred in and re-recorded this song for the film. This is the original version.
Take Me Away by Pugwash
Man, I love this Dublin based band. So what if their sound is more power pop than whiskey soaked? Sounding like a blend of XTC, ELO, The Kinks and The Beach Boys, their hooks and harmonies get me everytime. Oh yeah, and they’re Irish!