Its March, the "high-holidays" for Irish culture around the world. St. Patrick's Day is, of course, on March 17. However, celebrations of the holiday now seem to continue for the entire month.
How did such a small country become so high-profile internationally when it comes to music and art? Well, the answer is rooted in the sadness of emigration. It is also the story of a people's triumph over adversity.
In the 1840s, by most estimates, the population of Ireland was well over 8 million. One hundred years later, that population hovered around 4.2 million, and only in recent years, reaching beyond 6 million. The Great Famine of the late 1840s initiated a century of constant emigration that has lasted up to the present day.
The resulting diaspora clings to generational memory of displacement and welcomes the opportunity to celebrate connections to the homeland. Often, these celebrations are over-the-top and can border on what is now regularly referred to as "shamrockery." But there is so much genuine artistic endeavor to explore and celebrate, and our little world of A Celtic Sojourn here does so every Saturday afternoon, from 3 pm to 6 pm.
From the show's programming, I have put together this playlist. It is two hours of carefully selected tunes that will hopefully add not just good humor, but some notes of authenticity to your gathering. From the Dubliners to Sharon Shannon, from Planxty to Paul Brady, The Pogues, and Lunasa, you'll find it difficult not to tap your toes or sing along familiar choruses.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, hope you enjoy it.
An Uptempo St. Patrick's Day Playlist For You
"The Sevens," Liz Caroll, Lost in the Loop
"The Newry Highwayman," Solas, Reunion: A Decade of Solas
"The Kesh Jig," The Bothy Band, First Album 1975
"The Jug of Punch," Altan, Island Angel
"Five Drunken Landlady's," Usher's Island, Usher's Island
"Only Nineteen Years Old," Danu, When All is Said and Done
"The Atlantean," John McSherry, The Seven Suns
"Bold Jamie," Cara Dillon, After the Morning
"Boxing Reels," Jeremy Kittel, Live at the Burren Backroom
"The Irish Rover," The Dubliners & The Pogues, The Best That is Irish
"Frankie's Reels," The Alan Kelly Gang, The Last Bell
"The Flower of Kilkenny," Robbie O'Connell, The Clancy Legacy
"Vicar Street Reels," Planxty, Live at Vicar Street
"Willy Crotty," Danu, Buan
"Trip to Turk," Mairtin O'Connor Band, Going Places
"An Poc ar Buile," Cherish the Ladies, The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone
"Sixteen Come Sunday," Solas, All These Years
"The Wave And The Spade/The Woods Of Old Limerick," Cherish the Ladies, An Irish Homecoming
" The Rocky Road to Dublin," Damien Dempsey with Dervish, The Irish Songbook
"Old Maid in The Garrett," Steeleye Span, Time
"Pride of Petravore," Liz Knowles, Making Time
"Red-Haired Mary," Dervish, Midsummer's Night
"Fruitmarket Reels, Lúnasa, Lá Nua
"The Galway Girl," Mundy with Sharon Shannon, Live at Dolan's
"Leaving of Liverpool," Assembled, St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn 2018 recorded at Sanders Theatre
"Kelly, The Boy From Killane," Damien Dempsey, Songs
"Hey Jude," De Danann, All Stars
"The Homes of Donegal," Paul Brady, Nobody Knows: The Best of Paul Brady