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The following are often-sung Irish folk ballads and folksongs. The songs are arranged by theme under two main categories of 'Politics and soldiering' and 'Non-political' and are not necessarily contemporary to the events to which they relate.

Songs may fit into more than one category, but where possible are grouped uniquely to where is most appropriate.

Contents

Politics and soldieringEdit

Anti-war and anti-recruitingEdit

16th and 17th centuriesEdit

18th centuryEdit

  • "Clare's Dragoons"[11] – written by Thomas Davis about one of the divisions of the Irish Brigades.
  • "Mo Ghile Mear – written by Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill, it is a lament by the Gaelic goddess Éire for Bonnie Prince Charlie, who was then in exile.
  • "Gaol of Clonmel" (also known as the "Jail of Cluain Meala" (sung by Luke Kelly) and the "Convict of Clonmel") – translation by Jeremiah Joseph Callanan of the Irish-language "Príosún Chluain Meala", a song from the time of the Whiteboys[12]

1798 RebellionEdit

Songs relating to the Irish Rebellion of 1798 (though not necessarily contemporary):

19th centuryEdit

Napoleonic WarsEdit

 
Napoleon on Saint Helena
  • "The Bonny Bunch of Roses" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQE3AS3Vzb0 [18]
  • "Bonny Light Horseman" – collected by Sam Henry and others, recorded by Frank Harte, Planxty, Dolores Keane & John Faulkner[25]
  • "Eighteenth of June" – recorded by Frank Harte
  • "Grand Conversation on Napoleon"[26]
  • "Granuaile" – recorded by Frank Harte[26]
  • "The Green Linnet"[26]
  • "Isle of Saint Helena"[26]
  • "Lonely Waterloo" – recorded by Frank Harte, Daithi Sproule[27]
  • "Napoleon Bonaparte"[18]
  • "Napoleon's Dream"[26]
  • "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris" – recorded by Frank Harte[26]
  • "Napoleon's Lamentation"[26]
  • "My Love at Waterloo"
  • "The Plains of Waterloo" – several songs by this name,[18] including "As I rode out one bright summer's morning...", "On the fourteenth day of June, me boys...".
  • "The Royal Eagle"[26]
  • "Wounded Hussar"[28]
  • "Welcome Napoleon to Erin" – recorded by Frank Harte[26]

The Great War 1914–1918Edit

  • "The Connaght Rangers" – by Charles Martin.[29] Not to be confused with the song of the same name by Brian Warfield which refers to the mutiny of the First Battalion of the regiment in response to the Irish war of independence.
  • "Gallipoli"[30]
  • "Salonika" – there were two Cork songs with this title about the Irish serving in the British Army in the First World War, one for and one against. Jimmy Crowley collected the verses in his version from Mrs Ronayne of County Cork.[31][32]

1916 RisingEdit

War of IndependenceEdit

Civil War and post-Treaty Republicanism (1922-1969)Edit

The Troubles (1969–98)Edit

  • "The Ballad of Aidan McAnespie" – song about a young Catholic man, shot by a British soldier while walking to a Gaelic football match, at Aughnacloy border checkpoint in County Tyrone.[44]
  • "The Ballad of Billy Reid" – song recorded by the Wolfe Tones, Shebeen, and others, about Provisional IRA member Billy Reid (killed in May 1971).[45]
  • "The Ballad of Ed O'Brien" – song about Edward O'Brien who died in a bus explosion in London.
  • "The Ballad of Joe McCann" – song by Brian Moore ("Whoriskey") about the assassination of the Official IRA activist, performed by Belfast band Men of No Property.[46]
  • "The Ballad of Joe McDonnell" – song about hunger striker Joe Mcdonnell, written by The Wolfe Tones.
  • "Ballad of Mairéad Farrell" – song by Seanchai & The Unity Squad about Mairéad Farrell and two IRA members killed in 1988 in Gibraltar by the SAS.[47]
  • "Birmingham Six" – song about those wrongly accused of the Birmingham bombings in England in 1974.
  • "Bring Them Home" - song about sisters Doloures and Marian Price, Irish republicans imprisoned for the 1973 Old Bailey bombing.
  • "Freedom's Sons" – written by Tommy Makem.
  • "Gibraltar 3" – song by Andy O'Donnell, performed by the Fianna, in memory of the Gibraltar Three.
  • "Enniskillen – At The War Memorial" – song about the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bombing of 1987
  • "Fightin' Men of Crossmaglen" – about South Armagh republicans
  • "Give Me Your Hand" (Tabhair dom do Lámh) – words of reconciliation composed by Brian Warfield of the Wolfe Tones in 1974 to a 17th-century tune by Ruairí 'Dall' Ó Catháin
  • Freedom Walk
  • "Go on Home British Soldiers"
  • "The Lambeg Drummer"
  • "My Little Armalite – early 1970s militant republican song
  • "Loughall Martyrs" – song about 7 IRA men killed at Loughgall in 1987
  • "The Men Behind the Wire" – 1970s song about internment in Northern Ireland, composed by Paddy McGuigan of the Barleycorn
  • "Rock on Rockall – also known as "You'll get F'All from Rockall" – a satirical song from the Wolfe Tones, about Rockall, an Irish island disputed by Britain, Denmark and Iceland.
  • "Roll of Honour" – Republican song about the hunger strike of 1981
  • "Rubber Bullets for the Ladies" – 1970s song about the British Army in Northern Ireland
  • "SAM Song" – song praising the Provisional IRA and their acquisition of surface to air missiles
  • "Say Hello to the Provos" – PIRA song
  • "There Were Roses" – song by Tommy Sands that portrays a tragic story of two friends
  • "The Town I Loved So Well" – 1980s song about the impact of The Troubles in Derry (Composer: Phil Coulter)
  • "Up the Rebels" – also known as "Teddy's Head" due to a line in the chorus, song about the partition of Ireland.
  • "The Winds Are Singing Freedom" – written by Tommy Makem

Non-politicalEdit

Miscellaneous and uncategorisedEdit

Work and industryEdit

Love and romanceEdit

These songs can be grouped as: aislings, broken token songs, night visiting songs, modern songs, etc.

Places, emigration and travelEdit

Songs of the Travelling PeopleEdit

  • "The Blue Tar Road" – song by Liam Weldon
  • "Danny Farrell" – by Pete St John
  • "I'm a Rover Seldom Sober" – Irish version of "The Grey Cock" or "The Night Visit" (Child #248)[91]
  • "Last of the Travelling People" – song by the Pecker Dunne
  • "Man of the Road" – Recorded by The Cafe Orchestra featuring singer Sinead Stone. Composed by Dick Farrelly.
  • "The Tinker's Lullaby" – song by the Pecker Dunne
  • "The Little Beggarman" – sung to the melody of the "Red-Haired Boy"[21]
  • "Sullivan's John" – written by the Pecker Dunne

Sport, play and fightingEdit

Humorous songsEdit

  • "Arkle" – by Dominic Behan, about the race-horse Arkle[24]
  • "An Poc Ar Buile" – Irish-language song about a rebellious billy-goat, made popular by Seán Ó Sé and Kevin Conneff[21]
  • "The Boys of Fairhill" – popular Cork song, original version by Con Doyle, recorded by Jimmy Crowley
  • "Delaney's Donkey" – recorded by Val Doonican[97]
  • "The Finding of Moses" – written by Zozimus (Michael Moran, 1794–1846), recorded by The Dubliners[24]
  • "General Guinness" – a song about the stout from Dublin, recorded by The Boys of the Lough
  • "In the Town of Ballybay" – a "nonsense" song by Tommy Makem
  • "The Irish Rover" – song about a seafaring disaster on a vessel sailing from Ireland to the new Americas. Written by J. M. Crofts.[21][98]
  • "Johnny Daddlum" – Irish version of the song known in the Roud Index as "the Crabfish"[22]
  • "Master McGrath" – about the famous greyhound, Master McGrath[21]
  • "Monto (Take Her Up To Monto)" – a song by George Hodnett about the famous red-light district around Montgomery Street in Dublin.[99]
  • "Nell Flaherty's Drake" – written (in Irish) by Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin (1748–1782), a translation of which by Frank O'Connor appeared in A Broadside, 1935. In Cork called "Ned Flaherty's Drake".[16][21]
  • "The Night the Goat Broke Loose on Grand Parade" – a Cork song from the 1930s, recorded by Dick Hogan (on Wonders of the World).
  • "O'Rafferty's Motor Car" – recorded by Val Doonican[97]
  • "Paddy McGinty's Goat" – recorded by Val Doonican[97]
  • "The Peeler and the Goat" – an old song recorded by Delia Murphy.[9][50]
  • "Rafferty's Racin' Mare" – written by Percy French.[56]
  • "A Sailor Courted a Farmer's Daughter" – found mainly in Northern Ireland, a version of a song also called The Constant Lovers (Roud 993, Laws O41).[22] A parody was written by Percy French and recorded by Dominic Behan.[15][100]
  • "Shake Hands with Your Uncle Dan" – written in the 19th century by Johnny Patterson[48]
  • "Slattery's Mounted Foot" – written by Percy French.[56]
  • "Westmeath Bachelor" - by Joe Dolan

Murder balladsEdit

DrinkingEdit

Hedge schoolmaster songsEdit

  • "The Boys of Mullaghbawn"[15]
  • "Cloghamon Mill"
  • "The Colleen Rue" – translated from an Irish-language song "An Cailín Rua" (the red-haired girl)
  • "The Cottage Maid"
  • "The Cuckoo's Nest" – by John Sheils
  • "The Curracloe Boat Crew" – a song from Wexford
  • "Easter Snow" – an aisling set in a town in Roscommon
  • "Flower of Gortade"
  • "The Limerick Rake" – a popular song, from a broadside[16]
  • "Lough Erne Shore"
  • "Old Arboe" – a song in praise of a spot near Lough Neagh in Co Tyrone"
  • "Sheila Nee Iyer" – a parody of an aisling

Get-togethersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  3. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/century-marching-to-a-different-tune-1.2190721 Marching to a different tune
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External linksEdit