On your trip to the Wild West of Ireland, there are great Irish songs that should be on your playlist. Our Wild West Irish Alumni have a few tracks in mind for your any of our four tours in our comfortable mini bus.
Here is our Irish songs playlist for a road trip through the Wild West of Ireland.
“Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets, asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea and sang a song for Ireland…”
A great way to kick off your trip across the Wild West of Ireland is an ode to the land you just landed on! Disembark your flight and follow the soaring tenor of Luke Kelly carry you down the road.
“And I knew right then I’d be takin’ a whirl
‘Round the Salthill Prom with a Galway girl…”
While Ed Sheeran has a song of the same name, nothing quite beats this rousing number. Performed by the Kilkennys, this Irish song is sure to rouse you from any potential jetlag – gets the feet tapping and the hands clapping.
“Last night as I lay dreaming
Of pleasant days gone by
My mind being bent on rambling
To Ireland I did fly…”
“Spancil Hill” was recommended by a few people – it tells a story of an Irish immigrant from County Clare in true Irish style; gradual, emotional, and haunting. A moving tune; this Irish song performed by the Corrs becomes a sweeping, theatric number that will offset the waves of the coast and the wind in the fields.
“She bid me take love easy,
as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish,
with her would not agree.”
A heartfelt spin on the classic Yeats poem; nothing could be more fitting than turning to this piece for Yeats country. If you’re headed to the Heart of Ireland’s Wild West in particular, you might find yourself humming this Irish song – perhaps under a willow tree by a river, stopping to reflect…
“And she went her way homeward
With one star awake
As the swans in the evening
Move over the lake…”
There is something so mesmerizing about the rise and fall of Sinead O’Connor’s voice – reminiscent of keening in the hills, calling folk home from near and far. Her version of “She Moved Through the Fair” is no exception – a perfect background sound for the revelation of Ireland’s gorgeous landscapes coming into view.
Cherish the Ladies is a well-known [and well-beloved – especially to WWIT!] powerhouse in the Celtic music circuit. Their lilting instrumental, “The Waves of Kilkee” is a perfect interlude as you sally forth toward your destination of the day surrounded by the sounds of Ireland [including the tin whistle].
“Low lie, The Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing,
It’s so lonely round the Fields of Athenry…”
Sparing you the more aggressive Dropkick Murphys version; I bring you now to the dulcet tones of Paddy Reilly; reminiscent of an Irish John Denver in many ways. The mournful yet resilient number set during the Great Irish Famine in County Galway – heartfelt without being as heavy as it could be.
O human child,
to the waters and the wild…”
Back at it again with another Yeats piece; the eerie, New Age-genre of Loreena McKennitt’s interpretation of the poem feels utterly timeless – a perfect voice for the faeries attempting to lure a child away to the “waters and the wild”…
“No fife did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its dread tattoo
But the Angelus bells o’er the Liffey’s swell
Rang out through the foggy dew…”
While many versions of this song exist, perhaps none are most effective as the cinematic interpretation by a dynamic combination of vocalist Sinéad O’Connor and famous Irish group the Chieftains. This marching ballad dedicated to the rebels of the Easter Rising is one that runs the emotional spectrum from wild determination to quiet reflection – an all-encompassing experience.
“I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all…”
Last but certainly not least, we’d be hard-pressed not to include this number on the playlist. “The Parting Glass” is the perfect, bittersweet signoff to any group of friends – and indeed, any event with said friends – that resonated in the heart & soul of a moment. Filled with gratitude and wistfulness for perhaps a longer stay, it says parting is such sweet sorrow – but perhaps it’s not forever.
Have a song you think belongs here? Let us know with a reblog – comment which songs you’d add! We’d love to make this a collaborative experience next time you’re on the go with us.
– Sam Fishkind.