When I was growing up, St. Patrick’s Day was like a second Christmas in my home.
Born Canadian, my heritage is Irish on both sides—the Floods, McColgans, McGaheys and the Keons. I grew up in a family of storytellers and my grandmother used to share funny stories with my brother and I after school. My mother would actually decorate our home with Irish decorations that week—posters of shamrocks, happy dancing leprechauns and pots of gold. She used to make a gigantic shamrock cake from three heart shape cake tins connected in the middle scattered with little green crystals.
We wore kelly green to school that day and came home to a house full of very happy neighbours drinking pints and sharing stores with singing at the top of their lungs along side traditional Irish music blaring off the record player.
It was a late night in the Flood household on St. Patrick’s Day.
I, of course, did not get to embrace the spirit—or spirits—of the holiday until my University years when I hosted a last minute after party to The Mahones, an Irish born Canadian Irish punk band, but that’s a different story.
Here are the top Irish tunes to get you in the mood to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend:
1. Black Velvet Band – Luke Kelly
2. Whiskey In the Jar – The Dubliners
3. Wild Rover – The Dubliners and the Pogues
4. Drunken Sailor – The Irish Rovers
5. Dirty ‘Ol Town – The Pogues
6. Rock the Casbah – The Clash
7. Drunken Lazy Bastard – The Mahones
8. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – Bing Crosby
9. Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby) – Bing Crosby in “Going My Way”
10. Rising of The Moon – The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
11. Wild Colonial Boy – The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
12. Danny Boy – John McDermott
13. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2 Live
14. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
And this one’s for you, Pop!
15. Brennan On The Moor – Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
16. She Moved Through The Fair – Chieftans and Van Morrison
17. Shipping Off to Boston – DropKick Murphys
18. If I Ever Leave this World Alive – Flogging Mollies
19. Galway Girl – Gerrard Butler
20. Wasn’t That A Party – The Irish Rovers TV Opening
I’d like to give my father, Martin Patrick Flood—who’s about to turn 75—credit for most of this song list. He ensured my Irish roots were kept vivid growing up. Now get out there and get your IRISH on!
Sláinte! Irish “Cheers!” It means,”To Your Health!”
21. Four Green Fields – Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers
22. Leaving of Liverpool – Lou Killen, Clancy Brothers and The Irish Rovers
23. Haul Away Joe
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum