St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most underrated holidays out there. It will never be as popular as Christmas or Halloween, though it very well should be. Apart from celebrating with the color green, pub crawls, Irish culture, and, of course Patrick, himself, St. Paddy’s Day is also one of the holidays in which we get to hear some of the best music around. Songs influenced by the pub and punk cultures are some of the most upbeat and communal, so in honor of one of my all time favorite days of the year, here are ten tracks I will be playing on repeat all day on March 17th.
1. “Devil’s Dance Floor” by Flogging Molly–Flogging Molly is probably one of the most well-known Irish-American punk bands, and their boisterous attitude has been playing festivals with traditional Irish instruments for over 20 years, and deservedly so.
2. “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya” by Dropkick Murphys–This is definitely one of the more well known songs by Dropkick Murphys, but must be included since the Massachusetts based group is one of the major forerunners in American Celtic punk rock.
3. “Tell Me Ma” by The Fighting Jamesons–“Tell Me Ma” is a very famous Irish folk song that I grew up hearing from my own family, however, The Fighting Jamesons do a tremendous job bringing this song to life, rounding out both the song and tempo to have a more modern feel to it.
4. “Johnny Jump Up” by Gaelic Storm–Gaelic Storm is by far my favorite Irish-influenced band and “Johnny Jump Up” is easily one of their best songs. Accompanied by a great traditional fiddle, the song tells the story of the powerful impact of an Irish cider and the narrator’s own experience with it.
5. “Rocky Road to Dublin” by The Dubliners–This is another very traditional song a lot of bands have covered, but one of the best versions is done by The Dubliners, a great Irish folk band from the 1960s aptly named after the homeland of the founding members.
6. “If I Should Fall From Grace with God” by The Pogues–The Pogues were one of the very first Celtic punk bands, stemming ironically from England in the early 1980s and influencing a large number of bands already on this list, thus one of their most popular songs should be included.
7. “An Irish Pub Song” by The Rumjacks–First off, what a great, simplistic title. Not only does it tell you what you are in for, but it also works so well with the group’s name. The Rumjacks are a little-known Celtic punk group from Sydney, Australia who put a great twist on old Irish folk styles.
8. “Livin’ in America” by Black 47–I first heard Black 47 at the National Shamrock Fest in D.C., which if you have never been to, you must check out as soon as possible. Hearing Black 47 live was definitely one of the most engaging experiences I had at the show, and this song captures so much of that in just a few minutes.
9. “Life Less Ordinary” By Carbon Leaf–Carbon Leaf is another band that frequents Shamrock Fest. Though they aren’t as punk or upbeat as some of the other bands, they have a great almost Indie-Irish-folk sound and have been playing the festival and pub scenes since the early 1990s.
10. “Zombie” by The Cranberries–Limerick native Dolores O’Riordan is one of my favorite female vocalists and helps create a great post-punk sound to compliment The Cranberries’ own take on Irish rock. “Zombie” is also one of the most diverse Irish rock songs out there, straying away from the general pub feel and more for the political ballad.
Natasha Van Duser
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