01-Irish Tunes


Mountain Dew (in G). Let grasses grow and waters flow in a free and easy way, but give me enough of the fine old stuff that’s made near Galway Bay.

Courtin’ in the Kitchen (in G). One of my all-time favorite Irish folk songs. All y’all single belles and beaus, y’all better pay some attention now. Ya hear? (Sorry. Still stuck in cowboy mode. Know what the plural of “y’all” is? It’s “all y’all.”)

Irish Rover (in D). Another great piece of Irish folk music. It’s about the great age of sail when the Irish ruled the high seas in their 23-mast galleons.

The Rattlin’ Bog (in G.) There’s notes on this page, and this page on this site, and this site on the ‘Net, and the ‘Net down in the valley-O.

When I Was Single (in D). Yet another fine song about the splendors of love and marriage.

Wild Mountain Thyme (in G). This is one of the songs that one of my all-time favorite bands, Three Pints Gone, does really, really, really, amazingly well. Okay. I guess they really do a lot of songs really, really, really, amazingly well. But this is one of my favorites.

Moonshiner (in Bm) which is a lot like D. This is the popular Irish tune and the American lyrics. You can also find the Irish (or, at least, Clancy) lyrics to this tune with a little searching. They’re the ones that go “I’ll go to some hollow in this country; ten gallons of wash I can go on a spree.”

Finnegan’s Wake (in D). Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Let’s all hear it for Tim! He ain’t dead; get outta bed. And, yes. I do know what a “hod” is.

Abdul Abulbul Amir (in D). This was one of the first songs I learned to play on the tinwhistle. It’s about pride. And an epic fight between an Arab and a Russian.

Johnny Dhu (in D) and more verses. Of all the trades, sure a-beggin’ is the best for when a man is tired he can sit him down to rest.

Rosin the Beau (in G). Send down a hogshead of whiskey! I’m ready to drink to old Rosin the Beau. Remember, kids: my car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that’s just the way I like it.

Whiskey on a Sunday (in G). This is another really, really touching song about a sweet old dead guy. It’s the kind of song that makes you nostalgic for someplace you’ve never seen. No, really. I mean that.

Wild Rover (in G). This song is a staple of groups that play Irish folk music. Some groups give it their Seal of Approval. Some folks start out by “giving you the clap.” Regardless of the schtick, it’s a fun song.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley (in G). An Irish rebel song. And if you’d rather not have your barley shaken, you can try The Wind that Shakes the Corn (in D). Don’t know what kind of corn crops they grow in Ireland. But that’s okay. I don’t really know what kind of barley crops they grow, either.

Brennan on the Moor (in D). Okay. Two damn things. First of all, “and with this loaded blunderbuss the truth I will unfold; he made the mayor to tremble and he robbed him of his gold” states that the speaker — not Brennan — is holding the loaded blunderbuss. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. The good Lord knows I’ve seen more than one audience I’d like to hold at gunpoint. The second is this: it’s his wife that bails him out by packing the blunderbuss underneath her coat. In the end, it’s by a “false-hearted woman” that he’s betrayed. SOB had it coming. He’s got a perfectly good, blunderbuss toting wife at home. He should have kept his pants zipped and stayed away from the false-hearted woman. Maybe it should be “got himself killed cause he kept trying to get laid.”

Gypsy Rover (in G). Okay. As long as I’m ranting about the moral leanings of folk heroes, why exactly is it that this guy’s not good enough when he’s a gypsy, but when he’s “lord of the valley all over” then it’s suddenly grab him quick before he gets away? Talk about a double standard.

Boulavogue (Father Murphy). An Irish rebel tune of the first degree.

James Connolly. An Irish rebel song. This was a request, so here you go. Enjoy.

The Ould Triangle This one’s an Irish rebel show tune. Sometimes sung by pirates.

The Parting Glass Oh! Oh! Oh! I love this one! I like the slow songs. With powerful lyrics. Really.

Skibbereen Irish folk song. This one was another request. See? I don’t ignore all of them.

The Waxie’s Dargle What’ll you have? I”LL HAVE A PINT! Well, I’ll have a pint with you, sir.

William Bloat. The very first commercial jingle ever written. This was written by a Belfast linen manufacturer to illustrate their quality product. And an interesting note on William Bloat.

A Nation Once Again. An Irish rebel song. I love Irish rebel songs. If I lived in Ireland, I’d be a rebel. Maybe a rebel without a clue… just like in my high school years, but a rebel nonetheless.

  5 Responses to “01-Irish Tunes”

  1. My late father used to sing a n Irish from his father which began: “O, I wont go out with Annie any more”.
    Ever hear of such a dittie—limerick—bit of nonscense? I would appreciate a lead on finding the whole lyrics.

  2. I came across ‘The Hot Violinist’* playing a tune called ‘The Gael’, aka the ending theme from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. Apparently this tune is distinctly Scottish/Irish.

    This is the link;

    It occurs to me that the dots for this should be on your site. I can’t find them and I’m having trouble locating the key that it’s in.

    * Jenny O’Connor

  3. Thanks so much for the whistle chart and the songs. Blessings!

  4. Thank you, not only for all the tunes, especially a Nation Once Again, but also for unravelling my confusion with the Gypsy Rover – my teacher plays it one way and I play it another – both in the same key. I googled, found your site and YEAH it’s the same way I play it. LOL now to show it to my lovely teacher. Neither of us are right or wrong we’re both right!

    Any more tunes you can add? Love them all so much.

  5. What do you reccomend for St Patrick’s day at Mass?

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