The Best Celtic Folk Music Playlist

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Looking for a great Celtic folk music playlist? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the best Celtic folk tunes to get you in the mood for some Irish fun.

Celtic Folk Music Basics

Celtic Folk music is a genre of music that is typically associated with the Celtic nations. These nations include Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Celtic Folk music has its roots in the traditional music of these countries. It is often instrument-based, and can be very upbeat or slow and lyrical.

What is Celtic Folk Music?

Celtic folk music is a genre of folk music that developed in Atlantic Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and the Celtic diaspora in the United States and Australia. Celtic folk music is a subset of Celtic music, which is a broader category that includes all types of music influenced by Celtic culture, including but not limited to traditional folk music, modern folk rock, and electronic dance music.

The most popular Instruments used in Celtic Folk Music are:
-The fiddle
-The tin whistle
-The accordion
-The Highland bagpipe
-The bodhran (Irish drum)

Common themes in Celtic Folk Music include: drinking songs, songs about dying or going to war, love songs, and laments.

The History of Celtic Folk Music

Celtic folk music has a long and storied history. The Celts are a group of people with roots in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany. Celtic folk music has been passed down through the generations by oral tradition. This means that the music was never written down, but was instead passed on by listening and playing. Celtic folk music has been playing a vital role in the culture of the Celtic people for centuries.

The history of Celtic folk music is closely intertwined with the history of the Celts themselves. The Celts have a rich and varied history, which is reflected in their music. Celtic folk music has been shaped by politics, war, religion, and even emigration. Many of the most famous Celtic folk songs are about love, loss, and homecoming.

Celtic folk music has undergone something of a resurgence in recent years. Thanks to bands like The Pogues and The Dubliners, Celtic folk music is once again becoming popular all over the world. If you want to learn more about Celtic folk music, or just enjoy some great tunes, check out our playlist!

The Instruments Used in Celtic Folk Music

Though guitars, mandolins, and accordions are definitely Celtic Folk instruments, there are many other traditional instruments used in Celtic Folk music as well.

The fiddle is by far the most important instrument in Celtic Folk music, with the vast majority of songs being based around its unique sound. The bodhran is another common instrument, being a type of handheld drum that is often used to keep time. Other traditional Celtic Folk instruments include the penny whistle, bagpipes, harmonica, and the Irish flute.

The Best Celtic Folk Music Playlist

Celtic folk music is the perfect way to relax and unwind. It’s perfect for those long road trips or for a cozy night in. It’s also great for gatherings and parties. There’s something about the Celtic sound that just brings people together. If you’re looking for the best Celtic folk music playlist, you’ve come to the right place.

“The Parting Glass” by The High Kings

The Parting Glass is a traditional Irish folk song that has been covered by many artists over the years. The High Kings recorded a version of the song in 2010 that quickly rose to the top of the folk music charts. The band’s vocal harmonies and traditional instrumentation make this version of the song a must-listen for any fan of Celtic music.

“Danny Boy” by The Irish Rovers

“Danny Boy” is a ballad written by English songwriter Frederic Weatherly and usually set to the Irish tune of the “Londonderry Air”. It is most closely associated with the Irish diaspora.
The song tells the story of an emotionally attached young man who is leaving to travel abroad, expressing his sadness and regret at having to go.

The Irish Rovers recorded “Danny Boy” in 1964, and their version quickly became a Celtic music standard. The Rovers are a Canadian-based Irish folk band formed in 1963, best known for their hit songs “The Unicorn”, “Wasn’t That a Party”, and “Whiskey on a Sunday”.

If you’re looking for more great Celtic folk music, check out our playlist below.

“The Wild Rover” by The Dubliners

“The Wild Rover” is a traditional Irish folk song about a wanderer who decides to return home. It has been recorded by numerous artists, but the most well-known version is by The Dubliners. This lively rendition features the band’s signature Celtic sound, complete with thrilling penny whistle and bagpipe solos.

“The Irish Washerwoman” by The Chieftains

“The Irish Washerwoman” is a traditional Irish folk song that was popularized by the Irish group The Chieftains. The song is about a woman who is doing the laundry and singing as she works. The Chieftains’ version of the song is upbeat and lively, and it has become one of the most popular Celtic folk songs.

“Whiskey in the Jar” by The Pogues

This Irish folk ballad is one of the most popular Celtic folk songs of all time. The Pogues version, featuring the late great Shane MacGowan on vocals, is an absolute classic.

“The Galway Piper” by The Clancy Brothers

The Clancy Brothers were an Irish folk group, founded in 1955 in New York City. They are widely regarded as one of the most influential Irish folk bands of all time. The group’s repertoire consisted largely of traditional Irish folk songs, as well ascover versions of popular songs. They reached the height of their popularity in the 1960s, when they were one of the most famous folk bands in the world.

“The Galway Piper” is a traditional Irish folk song about a young man who is in love with a girl from Galway. The song was first recorded by The Clancy Brothers in 1961, and has since been covered by many other artists.

“The Black Velvet Band” by The Dubliners

“The Black Velvet Band” is a folk song from Ireland about a young man who is transportated to Australia after being caught with a black velvet band around his waist. The song tells the story of how he regrets his decision to leave Ireland and his love for the black velvet band.

“The Rising of the Moon” by The Wolfe Tones

“The Rising of the Moon” is a song written in 1798 by Irish poet and rebel leader Wolfe Tone (1763-1798). The Wolfe Tones are an Irish folk band formed in 1963. The group’s name comes from Tone’s surname.
The song is about the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which was led by Tone. In the song, Tone calls on the Irish people to rise up and fight against the British.
The Wolfe Tones have released many Celtic folk albums, including “The Rising of the Moon” (1965), “Ireland’s Greatest Hits” (1968), “The Red Rose Cafe” (1971), and “An Infinite Journey” (2007).

“The Wearing of the Green” by The Dubliners

“The Wearing of the Green” is a Irish folk ballad that was written in 1798 during the Irish Rebellion. The song is about a man who is sentenced to death for his participation in the uprising. The lyrics talk about how the man will never forget his homeland, even if he is executed.

The Dubliners are one of the most well-known Irish folk bands and they recorded “The Wearing of the Green” in 1967. The song became one of their signature tunes and helped to popularize Celtic folk music outside of Ireland.

“The Fields of Athenry” by Paddy Reilly

“The Fields of Athenry” is a song written from the perspective of a man from County Galway in Ireland who is forced to leave his family and home during the Great Famine of the late 1840s. Like many Irish people at the time, he is forced to emigrate to America in search of a better life. The song has been covered by many artists, but Paddy Reilly’s version is perhaps the most well-known. “The Fields of Athenry” is a sad but ultimately hopeful song that captures the pain and hardship of the Irish people during one of the darkest periods in their history.

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