Top 10 St. Patrick's Day Songs
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'Fairytale of New York'
From the Pogues' 1987 album 'If I Should Fall From Grace With God,' the sad ballad 'Fairytale of New York' is one of the most iconic St. Patrick's Day songs, even though the lyrics center more around Christmas Eve. Sung by the oft-inebriated Pogue Shane MacGowan and accompanied by the honeyed voice of Kristy MacColl (the late wife of famed indie producer Steve Lillywhite), 'Fairytale' was written by MacGowan and fellow Pogue Jem Finer and always has a soft spot in Irish pubs any time of year.
'Whisky in the Jar'
The Dubliners made this song most memorable in 1960s with the fun, drunken chant "Whack for my daddy-o, There's whiskey in the jar-o." The song, which takes place in the southern Irish mountains of County Cork and Kerry, is a popular drinking song and has been recorded numerous times since the 1950s. Most notably, Metallica, the Pogues, Thin Lizzy and the Grateful Dead have had a crack at covering it over the years.
'The Worst Day Since Yesterday'
Sad, contemplative, this Flogging Molly folk song is about dying, but that doesn't exclude it from our list. 'Worst' is also a reminder of the post-St. Patrick's Day hangover hitting, and feeling like death. The seven-piece, Celtic punk band from Los Angeles, released 'The Worst Day Since Yesterday' from their 2000 debut 'Swagger,' and ever since it's been a St. Patrick's Day favorite. Flogging Molly offer up punk alternative to traditional Celtic pipes and fiddles.
Irish drinking songs go way back, but most were made more popular in 1960s, particularly when the Irish Rovers started playing. This Irish-by-way-of Canada folk band started out in coffeehouses before moving to pubs with their feel-good, drinking tunes. Amid, the peace love and random fornicating of the decade, the Irish Rovers knew that everyone just wanted to have a drink at the end of the day – and still do in 'Drunken Sailor.'
'Beer, Beer, Beer'
The Clancy Brothers
No. 5 on our list of St. Patrick's Day songs comes from a family of singing Irish expats from County Tipperary. The are probably one of the most well-known Irish folk bands since their inception in the 1950s. Sadly, all of the Clancy Brothers have passed away, but their beer-chugging and heartfelt Irish tunes live on in bars everywhere, particularly 'Beer, Beer, Beer,' which is about the obvious and pretty much covers the most-absorbed liquid on St. Patty's Day.
'The Wild Rover'
The Quincy, Mass. Hardcore punk rockers the Dropkick Murphys know how to drop an Irish jig when necessary. 'Wild Rover,' taken from their 2001 release 'Sing Loud, Sing Proud,' is an Irish tale that inspires many a pint toast. Lyrics "I've been a wild rover for many's the year, and I spent all me money on whiskey and beer" say it all. Stiff Little Fingers, the Dubliners and Clancy Brothers have all covered the song as well, but the Dropkick packed 'Rover' with more punk.
'Sunday Bloody Sunday'
U2's 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' is a stirring, dark-themed anthem and can heard playing in almost any Irish pub all year long -- and especially on, St. Patrick's Day. Taken from U2's 1983 album, 'War,' the song tugs at the heart but also feels militaristic with its marching drum lines. 'Sunday' can get a crowd full of revelers singing along any time.
'The Irish Rover'
The Pogues and the Dubliners
Irish rejoice for the 'Irish Rover.' This, one of the most traditional St. Patrick's Day songs has been covered by too many artists to mention at this point, but the Pogues' and Dubliners' 1987 rendition has to be the most fluid and rumbling of the lot. The song is an Irish tale that takes place at sea in 1806 off the coast of County Cork and is a great dance-along.
'If I Should Fall From Grace With God'
From the 1988 album of the same name, which also gave us 'Fairytale in New York,' MacGowan talks (presumably) about being a slave to the drink -- which is true to life in the case of MacGowan -- but the punk-driven track also pierces with a sense of pride in the Emerald Isle. A film about MacGowan and personal life and struggles with alcoholism, 'If I Should Fall From Grace,' came out in 2001.
Written and published by English writer Frederic Weatherly in 1913, this is one of the most well-known Irish songs -- and just about everyone has put their mark on it. Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick Jr. are just some of the artists who have performed the Irish classic. Fresh with pops of a hip-Hop groove, Black 47's 1994 version is an updated rendition to the often drab classic -- yet still good for bar chantings.