Oh the Irish classics...Fairytale of New York, Raglan Road, Whiskey in the Jar, Zombie, The Foggy Dew, Beautiful Day...
We have all heard these songs a gazillion times at this stage, and yes
a) its true they never get old,
and b) the very knowing that they are the creation of one of our own, a product of our unique culture... well, its enough to fill our Irish hearts with guinness scented pride...
...but sometimes ya just wanna hear something new! ARE WE Right?!
Well the beauty is, is that there are so many incredible songwriters on this drizzly green island that there is never a shortage of fresh exciting new Irish music to listen to.
We have picked 5 of our favourite Irish songs that we think you may have not heard before (but really need to) and we encourage you to share any others that you know of in the comments below.
We can’t continue to let Bono or "Van the Man" get all the songwriting glory for this country now can we?….
So here are our 5 Faves in no particular order…
Galileo – Declan O Rourke
While Declan is a seasoned songwriter and well-known among us Irish, we’re not sure how many of you actually know this song, as honestly we had never heard it until it was requested for a wedding we sang at recently. Everything about this song is perfection so it’s no surprise Josh Groban covered it on his Illuminations album. Declan is a musical gem and one of the loveliest guys you could meet.
Kathleen Turner - Kenmare Bay
Up next is, in our opinion, one of the best voices and songwriters in Ireland right now, the enchanting Kathleen Turner. While her sister Juliette has known success on our Isle, many have still yet to fall in love with Kathleen. And fall in love you will… don’t say we didn’t warn you!
And while the melody and lyrics of Kenmare Bay are hauntingly beautiful, it’s really her voice, full of colour and emotion that paints the scene of this song so perfectly.
James Vincent McMorrow - If I Had A Boat
James Vincent McMorrow is certainly not a new name to many of us but undoubtedly there are still so many people who have yet to be serenaded by this man’s incredible voice. This achingly beautiful song is all about transformation and change and the initial layering of harmony leading to a lightly bluegrass infused folk rock vibe, is just candy for the ears!
Mick MacConnell - Only Our Rivers Run Free
This is sure to be one of the more well-known Irish songs on the list but we’re always so surprised when we sing it at shows or gig and so many people ask us about it, as they’ve never heard it. Granted, it’s mostly tourists who have not heard it, but we believe its worthy of being as renowned as any of the classic Irish ballads. Written by Mick MacConnell in the 60’s about the troubles in Northern Ireland, its quite possibly one of our Irish songs to sing. One can’t help but feel the passion living in his words and performed here by Christy Moore it just never fails to pull on the heart strings.
Emma Langford - Mo Shaol, Mo Thuras
Limerick native Emma Langford is possibly one of the least known songwriters on this list but hopefully that will change very soon as Emma's songwriting skills and beautiful vocals are just a pleasure to listen to. This song is a particular favourite and the fact that it's in the Irish language makes us love it even more. There is a professional recording of it on Sound Cloud but Emma does a beautiful job of it here too, live. Just gorgeous.
So that's all folks, hope you enjoy listening to these songs from this super-di-duper talented Irish bunch! And as we mentioned above, if you have any suggestions we would love to hear them!!
Lots of love,
The O'Neill Sisters