Irish Symbol - Irish Folksongs

Irish Folksongs

Irish folksongs include many different types of songs, suitable for a wide range of occasions. Irish folksongs include Ballads, Laments, Country and Irish songs as well as drinking songs!

Irish Folk music is used to accompany both Irish step dancers and groups dancers at Ceílís. Performers of Irish folk songs include Delia Murphy (1940s), Margaret Barry and of course Bridie Gallagher commonly known as 'Ireland's 1st International Pop Star' after she hit the charts in 1956.

Irish Folksongs - Types
Ballads are a types of Irish folk songs. A ballad is described as 'a form of narrative verse, set to music'. Ballads were popular with poets and composers from the 18th century.

Love songs were often made into ballads and today the 'power Ballad' is a very well known song type. Laments are another popular type of song used in Irish folk songs. A lament is a song which portrays mourning, death or grieving.

Irish Music - Irish Folksongs

Irish Music Index

Full Ireland Website

List of Irish Folksongs
The following list is just a sample of the many Irish Folksongs enjoyed by Irish people all over the world:

  • Danny Boy

  • Dan O'Hara

  • The Dawning of the Day

  • The Dublin Saunter (Dublin Can Be Heaven)

  • Down by the Sally Gardens

  • I'll Tell Me Ma

  • The Black Velvet Band

  • The Rose of Tralee

  • Spancill Hill

  • Lannigan's Ball

  • Thank God for America

  • Ireland's Call

  • Isle of Innisfree

  • Limerick Is Beautiful

  • Lovely Inishowen

  • Lovely Derry on the Banks of the Foyle

  • Lovely Green Gweedore

  • Miles of Eyes

  • Moonlight in Mayo

  • Mountains of Pomeroy

  • Mursheen Durkin

Irish Folksongs - Facts

  • Laments were traditionally sung by women

  • A Ceílídh (Ceílí) is a traditional Irish gathering complete with Irish Folk music, songs and dancing

  • The word 'Jig' comes from the French word 'giguer' which means to jump

  • A light jig is the fastest of all the jigs, danced in ghillies (soft shoes). It is performed in 6/8 time

  • Slip jigs (performed in 9/8 time) are sometimes referred to as the 'Ballet of Irish Dance' as it is danced in soft shoes and dancers are mainly on their toes like they are in ballet

  • Single jigs are the least commonly performed jig and are usually in 6/8 but occasionally in 12/8 time

  • The reel is the most popular Irish dance followed in second place by the jig

  • The jig was developed in Ireland in the 17th Century

  • Treble Jigs are performed in hard or heavy shoes and are famous for the stomps and clicks made by the hard shoes

  • Margo was given the unofficial title of 'Queen of Country and Irish'

  • To date, Daniel O'Donnell has been the most successful artist in this genre

  • Daniel O'Donnell and Margo are both successful artists in the Irish Country Music genre, they are in fact brother and sister!

  • Country and Irish developed as sub-genre to Irish folk music and its most successful performer is Daniel O'Donnell who achieved success in England, America and Australia

  • Bridie Gallagher is commonly known as 'Ireland's 1st International Pop Star'. She made Irish Folk music popular in 1956

  • Clannad, Sinead O'Connor, Van Morrison and Enya are responsible for making Irish folk songs popular in the late 20th century by creating a fusion between traditional Irish music and rock music

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