Led by the incendiary and perpetually drunk lead singer Shane McGowan, the Pogues are the forefathers of Irish punk music (direct descendants include the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly). Traditional Irish folk instrumentation, punk balladry and tearful fervor coalesce in a fiery concoction on every song from these Dublin punk legends, best featured on their killer rendition of this Ewan MacColl tune.
Love St Patrick’s Day? Well, we’ve got news for you. March 17 isn’t just about drinking gallons of Guinness and fighting your way through screaming crowds dressed in green (although, that is a big part). St Patrick’s Day has actually been around since 1631, and there’s a lot about Ireland’s complex history to be learned from it.
There’s a million and one brilliant songs for Paddy’s Day, from traditional folk song to belters by The Cranberries. Some of them can teach you a lot about the history of St Paddy’s, but all of them will make you want to sing along. And given we’ve lost two icons of Irish music in the last year, with the passing of Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor, there’s no better time to get into the spirit. We’ve rounded up the 15 very best Irish tunes to get those pipes going, ahead of 2024’s upcoming celebrations. Go grab a Guinness – it’s time to get green, folks.