This is a companion collection to the volumes of Irish Dance Music that I have produced before. Everyone has their own favourites , but most of these will count amongst the best-loved and most-requested on anyone�s list.
These songs often reflect the same concerns that are common to folk songs across the World. There are songs about national pride, about the Good-Old-Days, tales of derring-do and drinking songs, but it is affairs of the heart that get the most attention. Every townland boasts the most beautiful girl in Ireland and there seems to be a disproportionate number of songs devoted to the preservation of a young woman�s honour!
What sets Irish songs apart is an almost tangible melancholy, a sense of longing and often regret. Ireland and the Irishman are most often cast as the perennial loser. Maybe this is a product of Ireland�s long years subject to the rule of its larger neighbour�.or maybe it�s the rain…who knows!
Another unique feature is the language. Gaelic may be rarely encountered in modern Ireland, but the rhythm of the ancient tongue is preserved in the accent and intonation of everyday speech, in place names and in a host of colloquial words and turns of phrase.
These songs are arranged for singing, with the chords provided for guitar, piano, accordion, mandolin or whatever. Of course many of these melodies have lives of their own, without the words, so you can play them on whistle, flute, fiddle or any other suitable melodic instrument. Many existed before the lyrics and many crop up elsewhere with different lyrics.
I hope you enjoy this collection of songs and that it either brings back happy memories or opens a small window for you onto the Soul of Ireland.