Playlist Project #5; 5 Songs Which Reflect Irish National Identity

This week’s playlist is 5 songs which I consider to be reflective of Irish national identity. I actually found this really hard to do, I deeply love Irish music yet I struggled to select songs for this playlist! I hope you enjoy these songs as much as me…

1. “Ebudæ” – Enya (1991)

One of my personal favourites by Enya (I’m quite the Enya fan), the use of Irish language itself is a lovely reflection of Ireland and the lyrics translate beautifully. The melody and harmony is typically Irish in style. Also note the 6/8 jig time signature. Goosebumps.

Amharc, mná ag obair lá ‘s mall san oíche,
Ceolann siad ar laetha geal, a bhí,
Bealach fada anonn ‘s anall a chóich.

(Translation:
Look, women working by day and late at night,
They sing of bright days that were,
A long way back and forth forever.)

2. “Midnight in Galway” – Máirín Fahy (2000)

Okay this is an instrumental but this is too beautiful to leave out. I’ve adored this song since its release in 2000. It is a contemporary traditional instrumental with a kick ass electric guitar solo at the end. This music provokes an image of Galway city at night with its pretty lights and beautiful windy streets, so for me this song is reflective of Irish nationality! Máirín was a soloist in Riverdance for those who did not know! She’s also one of my favourite fiddle players.

3. “Theme from Harry’s Game” – Clannad (1982)

Revealing my love for thick, rich vocal harmonies and minor keys, Clannad are another personal favourite of mine. Sung ‘as Gaeilge’ again and combined with a beautiful drone, typical of Irish traditional music, this song to me speaks volumes of the beauty of Ireland.

4. “She Moved Through the Fair” – Sinéad O’Connor (1996)

A deeply moving version of this traditional song. Used in the movie “Michael Collins”.

5. “Spancill Hill” – The Corrs (2005)

Another modern take on a traditional Irish song. A song about lost love. Beautiful imagery of Ireland in the lyrics. Also there is a lovely bodhrán track in this production and a beautiful traditional fiddle/tin whistle/acoustic guitar/bodhrán section at the end. The Corrs really made this their own and it never fails to give me goosebumps.

“Last night as I lay dreaming of pleasant days gone by,
My mind being bent on rambling to Ireland I did fly,
I stepped on board a vision and followed with the wind,
Till next I came to anchor at the cross near Spancill Hill.”

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