The Best of Irish Folk Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for the best Irish folk music? Look no further! Here you’ll find a collection of the best traditional Irish folk songs, both old and new. Whether you’re a fan of The Dubliners or The Pogues, you’re sure to find something to enjoy here.

Introduction to Irish Folk Music

Irish folk music is the music of the people of Ireland. It is a form of Celtic music and has been influenced by many other genres of music, such as English and Scottish folk music, as well as music from Continental Europe. The music is often accompanied by instruments such as the fiddle, accordion, penny whistle, and bodhrán.

What is Irish Folk Music?

Irish folk music is the music of the people of Ireland. It has been passed down orally through the generations and has been influenced by many different cultures. The term “folk music” can be misleading, as it is often used to describe music that is not truly “folk” in nature. In Ireland, however, folk music is truly traditional, and has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.

Irish folk music is generally very storytelling-oriented. Many of the songs are about love, loss, immigration, and other topics that are important to the Irish people. The songs are often sad and sentimental, but they can also be upbeat and lively. Traditional Irish instruments include the penny whistle, fiddle, accordion, bodhran (a type of drums), and uilleann pipes (a type of Celtic bagpipes).

If you’re interested in learning more about Irish folk music, there are many great resources available online and in libraries. You can also find many traditional Irish Folk bands that play regularly in pubs and clubs throughout Ireland.

The Origins of Irish Folk Music

It is impossible to say exactly when and where Irish folk music began. However, there is evidence that the Celts, who lived in Ireland from around 600 B.C., had a rich oral tradition of music and storytelling. These early folk songs were probably passed down from generation to generation, and many of them were about important events or people in Celtic history.

During the last few centuries, Irish folk music has been influenced by many different cultures, including English, American, and Scottish music. In the 1800s, for example, many Irish people emigrated to the United States, and they brought their folk songs with them. American folk music, in turn, had a strong influence on the development of Irish folk music.

One of the most important figures in the history of Irish folk music is Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738). O’Carolan was a blind Harper (a type of musician who plays a Celtic harp) who composed hundreds of beautiful melodies that are still popular today. Many of O’Carolan’s tunes were inspired by the people and places he knew well, and his songs provide us with a valuable glimpse into everyday life in Ireland during the 1700s.

Today, Irish folk music is enjoyed all over the world. If you have never heard it before, we hope you will take some time to explore this fascinating genre!

The Best of Irish Folk Music

If you’re looking for a list of the best Irish folk music, you’ve come to the right place. Irish folk music has a rich history dating back centuries, and has produced some of the most iconic and influential musicians of our time. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best Irish folk music of all time.

The Clancy Brothers

The Clancy Brothers were an Irish folk music singing group, who were especially popular in the 1960s. They were at their most successful in the early 1960s, when they were widely credited with popularizing Irish traditional music in the United States and renewing interest in it at home.

The group’s recording output consisted mostly of Irish folk songs, and they occasionally recorded contemporary songs by artists such as Tom Paxton, but their repertoire also included a number of American songs, some of which they popularized.

The brothers’ biggest hit was “The Rising of the Moon”, which was recorded in 1959 and reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1960. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 23 times, more than any other musical act, and their influential recordings helped lead the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s.

The Dubliners

The Dubliners were an Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962. The band’s initial line-up consisted of Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Ronnie Drew, Ciaran Bourke and Jim McCann. The Dubliners became one of the most internationally successful Irish bands of all time; they toured extensively throughout Europe, Australia and the United States.

The Dubliners were known for their energetic live performances and their recordings of traditional Irish songs such as “The Wild Rover” and “Whiskey in the Jar”. They also recorded contemporary songs by Bob Dylan and Andy Irvine. The Dubliners achieved international success with their 1967 hit single “Seven Drunken Nights”.

The Dubliners’ lineup changed several times over the years, with Luke Kelly being the only original member to stay with the band until his death in 1984. Barney McKenna is the only other original member still remaining in the band; he has been with the Dubliners since 1964. The current members of the band are Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell, John Sheahan and PATRICK DONOHOE.


Planxty is an Irish Folk Music group formed in the 1970s. The members are Andy Irvine (vocals, mandolin, bouzouki, harmonica), Donal Lunny (bouzouki, guitar), Christy Moore (vocals, guitar, bodhrán), and Liam O’Flynn (uilleann pipes, tin whistle). They are often credited with popularizing Irish Folk Music and reviving interest in the genre.

Planxty’s first album was released in 1973 and was titled Planxty. The album was a huge success in Ireland and helped to launch the career of the band. They would go on to release six more albums over the next decade. In 1983, they split up but reunited in 2004 for a series of concerts. In 2007, they released a live album titled Live in Dublin which was recorded during their 2004 reunion tour.

Planxty is one of the most influential Irish Folk Music groups of all time. Their music has been covered by many other artists and they have influenced generations of musicians.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our compilation of the best Irish folk music. From soothing ballads to upbeat reels, this music captures the spirit of the Emerald Isle. Whether you’re Irish yourself or just enjoy good folk music, we hope this album brings you as much joy as it has us.

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