It’s March and we all know what that means! St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. This month’s ReadJunk Playlist is dedicated to Celtic and folk songs that will get you in the green spirit; and well for others the drinking spirit! This playlist is an easy one for me considering this is one of my favorite genres of music and something I listen to all year round. I’m not one of those phony “Kiss Me I’m Irish” people that breaks out their shirt and stupid green and white Mad Hater hat every year. Perhaps this playlist will give you a bit of a variety than just listening to Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly. Here we go!
1. Mychael & Jeff Danna – “The Blood Of Cu Chulainn”
To start the playlist off is the instrumental track “The Blood Of Cu Chulainn,” which you might know The Boondock Saints! Originally, composers Mychael and Jeff Danna composed the track for the A Celtic Romance: The Legend of Lladain and Curithur album. The whole album is awesome and this track is perfect to start the playlist!
2. The Pogues – “Streams of Whiskey”
The Pogues always (most times) start off their set with “Streams of Whiskey.” It’s just an excellent song to start with.
3. The Dubliners – “Whiskey in the Jar”
By far my favorite song that the Dubliners do!
4. Flogging Molly – “Salty Dog”
The first song I liked from Flogging Molly and think it’s a great song to play around St Paddy’s Day. Of course any songs of theirs would fit this playlist well.
5. Great Big Sea – “Goin’ Up”
“Goin’ Up” was one of the first songs that got me into GBS. Plus I just think it would be an excellent dance song to include on a playlist.
6. Young Dubliners – “Touch The Sky”
Young Dubs were one of the first Celtic bands I started listening to when I got into this genre of music. They still continue to impress me with their music and get better & better with each release. “Touch The Sky” is one of my favorite songs from them.
7. The Clancy Brothers – “Finnegan’s Wake”
There are many songs that I like from The Clancy Brothers. But none of them come close to “Finnegan’s Wake.”
8. The Saw Doctors – “Sing A Powerful Song”
One of more traditional Irish songs from The Saw Doctors from Tuam.
9. Dropkick Murphys – “Shipping Up To Boston”
This Dropkicks song has practically become the anthem to Boston.
10. The Mahones – “Paint the Town Red”
An awesome song to put on while going out to the pub. Of course I wouldn’t know that feeling but you get the idea.
11. The Waterboys – “Fisherman’s Blues”
I didn’t know of the Waterboys until hearing the Young Dubliners cover of this song “Fisherman’s Blues”. Then I feel in love with the Waterboys…well their earlier releases anyway.
12. Spirit of the West – “Home for the Rest”
This song is probably one of the first Celtic rock songs I heard. It was probably Canada’s anthem for awhile.
13. The Levellers – “The Riverflow”
The Levs play folk rock, mixed in with punk rock and celtic music. They also happen to be my favorite band. The Riverflow is an excellent song that will make you want to dance and shove people. Fun times indeed!
14. Sharon Shannon and Steve Earle – “Galway Girl”
Steve Earle just loves to sing an upbeat Irish song! The other song I’m talking about is “Johnny come Lately”
15. Enter The Haggis – “One Last Drink”
This is just a fun song!
16. The Tossers – “Monday Morning”
One of the few songs I like from The Tossers. There’s something about the singer’s fake paddy voice that irritates me. But not for this song.
17. The Chieftains – “Sullivan’s March”
If i’m going to include the Chieftains on here, it’s gotta be “Sullivan’s March!”
18. Luke Kelly – “Dublin in the Rare Oul Times”
I absolutely love this song. Both Luke Kelly’s version, as well as Ronnie Drew’s version are wonderful.
19. Liam Clancy – “Yarmouth Town”
Liam’s soothing voice is pleasant to listen to.
20. Carbon Leaf – “The Boxer”
Carbon Leaf are more of straight up folk rock band, but in their earlier days they were heavily influenced on Celtic music. “The Boxer” is a good example of that.
21. Gaelic Storm – “Swimmin’ in the Sea”
Gaelic Storm are known as the Irish band in Titanic. They have over 6 albums now! “Swimming in the Sea” is a favorite of mine; I think you’ll like it too.
22. Roaring Jack – “Yuppietown”
Australia’s Roaring Jack was a Celtic punk band in the 80s, fronted by the late Alistair Hulett. “Yuppietown” is fast, has accordion playing and similar to something the Pogues would do.
23. Oysterband – When I’m Up I Can’t Get Down
People know this song from Great Big Sea, but the original band that did it was the UK’s Oysterband. I still debate within my head which version is better but for sake of this playlist, Oysterband wins.
24. Wolfe Tones – “Paddys Night Out”
The Wolfe Tones have been playing for 45 years now! Wow! They play Irish rebel music and deserve to be on any St Patrick’s Day playlist.
25. Sinead O’ Connor – “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
Sure, everyone picks Sinead’s Prince cover “Nothing Compares 2 U” for lists. “Emperor’s New Clothes” is my favorite song from her.
26. Clannad – “Theme from Harry’s Game”
Clannad are one of my favorite groups to listen to when it’s getting close to bedtime. Just put on their albums and zone out. You might also know this song from the movie Patriot Games.
27. Enya – “May It Be”
Ok ok ok, I know it’s Enya and everyone huffs and puffs over her music. But you know what, I like it. So go fuck yourself! haha.
28. Loreena Mckennitt – “The Bonny Swans”
Lorenna has a similar singing style to Clannad, Enya, and other new age Celtic singers. Beautiful voice!
29. Shane MacGowan and the Popes – “Rock and Roll Paddy”
It’s Shane! ‘Nuff said!
30. Christy Moore – “Ride On”
Christy’s song “Ride On” has been covered many times, but nothing tops his version.
31. Low & Sweet Orchestra – “Pencils and Shades”
This folk rock/spaghetti-western band featured James Fearnley of the Pogues, actors Kieran and Dermont Mulroney, and Circle Jerks’ Zander Schloss. Good stuff!
32. Fiddler’s Green – “I’ll Be There”
Germany’s Fiddler’s Green are a top notch band that play Celtic rock music. “I’ll Be There” is one of their more notable songs. A catchy tune!
33. Greenland Whalefishers – “The Mutineer”
Let’s face it, Greenland Whalefishers are the Pogues – Norway edition. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love this band and I love this song!
34. Filthy Thieving Bastards – “Phony Drunken Poet”
Filthy Thieiving Bastards is the side band consisting of members of the punk band Swingin’ Utters, and sometimes Camper Van Beethoven. Their newest album features this song “Phony Drunken Poet” and is a highlight for me.
35. Captain Tractor – “Someday”
The Canadian band Captain Tractor have a few good songs, “Someday” is probably my favorite from them.
36. 3 Daft Monkeys – “Astral Eyes”
3 Daft monkeys are a folk band from the UK. I wouldn’t necessarily classify them as a Celtic band. This song is really awesome though. Tremendous flute and fiddle playing!
37. The Real McKenzies – “Mainland”
Ok, so the Real Mckenzies play Scottish music but doesn’t mean we still can’t include them on this playlist. If I make a pirate themed playlist, this song would be on it too.
38. Goats Don’t Shave – “What She Means To Me”
I really don’t know much about this band, but I found their music online years ago somehow. “What She Means To Me” is a worthy song to put on a Celtic playlist.
39. The Men They Couldn’t Hang – “Life as a Small Fry”
Another UK folk rock band that I like. “Life as a Small Fry” is on the band’s terrific Waiting For Bonaparte album. Be sure to check out the whole album as well!
40. Irish Rovers – “Mountain Tay”
The Irish Rovers are from Canada and have been around since the early 1960s. They have a lot of good songs, both original and traditional.
41. Blood or Whiskey – “Galway Town”
Irish punk band that had 2 albums out before they had to get another singer. I prefer those albums to their newest one but all of them are good.
42. Dropkick Murphys – “Cadence to Arms”
Still one of my favorite intros to an album!
43. The Trojans – “Gaelic Ska”
Mixing ska and Irish music? I’m game!
44. Paperboys – “After The First Time”
The first release from The Paperboys is more celtic than their later releases, which is more alt-country/folk rock. “After The First Time” makes you want to bop around the room.
45. Ceili Rain – “Like A Train”
Ceili Rain are a Celtic religious band, which isn’t my thing but I like some of their songs. They certainly know how to write some catchy tunes like this one, “Like A Train.”
46. Jethro Tull – “Cup of Wonder”
Tull was an early band mixing folk and rock music together. They always gave off that ministrel vibe and I love that. “Cup of Wonder” always stood out from the album “Songs from the Wood.”
47. Black 47 – “Maria’s Wedding”
I much as I like Larry Kirwan’s Sirius XM show Celtic Crush on Spectrum, I’m not a fan of Black 47. I just don’t like his singing voice. But I do like “Maria’s Wedding.”
48. Willie Nile – “Beautiful Wreck of World”
Willie Nile is a folk rocker that sounds slightly similar to Bob Dylan. “Beautiful Wreck of World” is one of his newer songs with Celtic overtones.
49. Ewan MacColl – “Dirty Old Town”
As much as I love the Pogues version, this playlist should consist of the original by Kirsty MacColl’s Dad Ewan. The song is really about an English town but considering that so many Irish bands cover it, it deserves to be on this list.
50. Wolfstone – “Double Rise Set”
Every playlist deserves to have a nice instrumental track. This one is an upbeat one where it will make you want to jig around the room like a buffoon.
51. The Prodigals – “Last Night I Was Dreaming”
New York Celtic rock band that have a few good songs. I always liked this one.
52. Nuthouse Flowers – “Ship of Fools”
Germany’s well known Pogues cover band, but they also do originals as well…like this song!
53. The Rumjacks – “The Plantin’ O’ Kitty Randall”
I just got this EP “Hung, Drawn and Portered” to review and I enjoyed the music of the Rumjacks. They aren’t just some old paddy rock band that’s for sure. This song stands out from the others.
54. Buck O Nine – “Irish Drinking Song”
BO9’s “Irish Drinking Song” is probably one of the most sought after songs on the Internet for some reason. I guess people love drinking songs.
55. The Skoidats – “Beer Beer Beer”
The ska band from Montana sure loves beer, especially when they cover this song!
56. Tommy Makem – “Farewell to Nova Scotia”
Tommy Makem is known for singing with the Clancy Brothers but he also has a lot of great solo material as well.
57. The Chieftains – “Fighting Donellys”
This track is from the Far and Away soundtrack/score, composed by John Williams and The Chieftains. Good stuff!
58. Linda Thompson – “Paddy’s Lamentation”
From the Gangs of New York soundtrack, this song from Richard Thompson’s ex-wife always stood out amongst a few others.
59. Clannad – “Newgrange”
The new age Irish group Clannad sings about the mysterious Newgrange, which is located outside of Dublin.
60. The Cranberries – “Ode To My Family”
An Irish list isn’t complete without the Cranberries!
61. Annie Lennox – “Into The West”
“Into The West” isn’t really a Celtic song per say, but has a somewhat Celtic sound to it. Light guitar playing, beautiful singing and a just a sad, sad song.
62. Altan – “The Roseville”
Altan are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. It’s quite hard to pick a song from them but I like the song “The Roseville”
63. The Bothy Band – “Old Hag You Have Killed Me”
Another band I don’t know too much about. BUT what I like about doing these playlists is finding bands I never heard of and checking out more of their music.
64. The Clancy Brothers – “Courting in the Kitchen”
65. The Dubliners – “Galway Races”
Besides Whiskey in the Jar, this is my other favorite Dubliners song.
66. Damien Dempsey – “Rocky Road to Dublin”
I’ve heard so many covers of this song but only a few covers really stand out. Young Dubliners and Damien Dempsey are 2 that do. Since I didn’t put a Damien Dempsey song on here yet, well here ya go!
67. Runrig – “Empty Glens”
I don’t know Runrig too well but I’ve heard this song before and I really like it.
68. Street Dogs – “Shards of Life”
Not only their most “Celtic-ish song to date, it also features James Fearnley of the Pogues on tin whistle and Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly on the accordion.
69. Darby O’Gill and the Little People – “Gates of Hell”
Celtic band from Las Vegas! They do original songs plus some cool covers as well. I wanted to check these guys out last time I was in Vegas because they seem like they would be a lot of fun live! “Gates of Hell” is an excellent song and quite entertaining too.
70. Denis Leary – “Traditional Irish Folk Song”
There’s always room for comedy on my playlists!
71. Across The Border – “Declaration”
Across the Border are a German folk punk band. I only like a few songs from Across the Border because the singer’s voice gets annoying after awhile, but “Declaration” is a good song.
72. Swingin’ Utters – “London Drunk”
The Swingin’ Utters have always been influenced by the Pogues. This track is a good example of that.
73. The Levellers – “Lowlands of Holland”
Many bands and artists have covered “Lowlands of Holland” but the Levellers is by far the best I think.
74. Flatfoot 56- “Brotherhood”
I don’t know much about Flatfoot 56 but they are a punk rock band similar to Dropkick Murphys. This song called “Brotherhood” is pretty catchy!
75. Great Big Sea -“Jack Hinks”
I can pick any Great Big Sea song but this one is just a fun song to clap your ass off!
76. Planxty – “The Jolly Beggar”
Believe it or not, I never heard of Planxty until now. Who knew it consisted of Christy Moore! Andy Irvine signs this tune though. Still, a wonderful song to listen to.
77. Alistair Hulett – “Destination Road”
The late folk singer Alistair fronted the Aussie folk punk band Roaring Jack in the 80s. Then he did his own solo stuff since then. “Destination Road” is a tune from the Roaring Jack days.
78. Ronnie Drew – “Weila Weila”
Ronnie Drew is a legend. He had a distinct, unique voice that will be sorely missed. “Weila Weila” is a fun sing-a-long type of song.
79. Lunasa – “Morning Nightcap”
I don’t know much about Lunasa except that they are trad Celtic band from Ireland. A lot of their songs seem to be instrumental traditional songs. The “Morning Nightcap” stood out to me.
80. Phil Clouter – “Cal”
I could have used the original tracks from Mark Knopfler album for Cal but I liked Phil Clouter’s cover of it better. It adds more Celtic elements to the song.
81. William Clouter – “Banish Misfortune -The Kesh Jig”
William Clouter’s album “Celtic Crossing” is the go-to-album for naps for me. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, it just takes me to a place that I can just pass out for a quick power nap at lunch. “Banish Misfortune – Kesh Jig” is one of the more upbeat, jig songs he performs on the album.
82. Michael Kamen – “Air – You’re the One”
The Circle of Friends score version of the Shane MacGowan and Maire Brennan song, composed by late composer Michael Kamen. Such a lovely tune.
83. Noelie McDonell – Walkin’ On
Noelie sounds like Colin Hay of Men at Work, but only Irish. “Walkin’ On” is one of my favorites.
84. Billy Bragg – “Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key”
Billy Bragg isn’t Celtic or anything like that but this is a folk rock playlist as well. This song fits the bill for Celtic and folk rock music, and something you might listen to this month.
85. The Pogues – “Sally Maclennane”
“Sad to say, I must be on my way…”
86. Filthy Thieving Bastards – “The Back of my Hand”
The guys from Swingin’ Utters really do a great job with folk rock music. This track is especially cool since Spider Stacey of the Pogues is on the track as well!
87. Sinead O’ Connor – “The Parting Glass”
Whatever you think of Sinead, she certainly has a wonderful singing voice. I always liked her version of the “Parting Glass.”
88. The Fureys – “Green Fields of France”
Finbar Furey and his brothers were a well known folk band called the Fureys back in the day. Their cover of Eric Bogle’s “Green Fields of France” is nicely done as well.
89. James Galway – “The Fields of Athenry”
James Galway’s flute playing is simple magnificent. Check out his version of the Fields of Athenry!
90. Flook – “Granny in the Attic”
It’s something about this instrumental track that I just love. It’s groovy?
91. Van Morrison & The Chieftains – “Star of the County Down”
Gotta include something with Van Morrison, he’s Irish after all!
92. Peatbog Faeries – “There’s a Girl Behind the Bar”
Fast, instrumental Celtic reel song that would fit this playlist perfectly.
93. Neck – “Every Day’s St Patrick’s Day”
“Well, EVERY DAY’S St. PATRICKS’ DAY! -there’s no needin’ an excuse”
94. Bell X1 – “The Great Defector”
Not really a Celtic band but they are Irish and it beats having to find a U2 song to put on here. God I can’t fucking stand them.
95. Saw Doctors – “I Useta Love Her”
The band’s big hit back in the day. Still a crowd favorite at their shows.
96. Young Dubliners – “Rosie”
The Young Dubs’ latest album Saints and Sinners features quite a lot of awesome songs. The song that got them a spot on Jimmy Kimmel Live was “Rosie.”
97. Frank Turner – “Sons of Liberty”
Frank is another folk musician who normally plays folk rock & punk. But he does have a few songs that cross the line into Celtic a little. I think “Sons of Liberty” is one of them.
98. Joe Strummer – “Minstrel Boy” (film version)
I honestly haven’t heard a better cover of “Minstrel Boy” than the late, great Joe Strummer’s version. It was featured on the Black Hawk Down soundtrack and listening to it still almost brings me to tears.
99. Eric Bogle – “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”
So many covers have been done (very well might I add: ie. Pogues, Liam Clancy) that it makes sense to just put the original down here.
100. The Pogues – “Thousands are Sailing”
One of my favorite songs to hear live, especially when Phil Chevron is singing it. He just provides something completely different and genuine when he sings it. It’s just a brilliant track.
Any songs that I forgot that should have been on the list? Let me know and comment below!