Top 10 rock songs about Ireland



Celtic folk singers have been telling the history and traditions of the Emerald Isle for centuries, so the Top 10 Rock Songs About Ireland can only cover part of the pitch. Yet classic rockers sang everything from the country’s natural beauty and wonderful towns to Irish folk heroes and struggles for a united Ireland. The songs below were created by artists from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and even a few well-known English rockers who are fond of their neighbors to the north.

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    Slim Lizzy

    From: EP ‘New Day’ (1971)

    Dublin-native Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott paid homage to his hometown in this austere ballad, featured on the band’s only EP. In the song, Dublin and the lover who broke Phil’s heart almost become synonymous – part of him wants to break out, but he just can’t. “How do I get out of the city that’s killing me? / Who has no job / Is blessed by God / And makes me cryPhil sings on deck. Considering the mood of the song, you can imagine him singing his troubles to the bartender over a pint.

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    “Banana Republic”

    Boomtown Rats

    Extract from: “Mondo Bongo” (1981)

    The Boomtown Rats’ ultimate commercial success was a nasty attack on their home country, the Republic of Ireland. A few years earlier, the group had been banned from performing at home after frontman Bob Geldof denounced corrupt politicians and priests on Irish television. He certainly isn’t holding back on this reggae-inspired single, calling Ireland “septic island. “It will probably not be part of the next Irish tourism campaigns.

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    “The luck of the Irish”

    John lennon

    Extract from: “A Little Time in New York” (1972)

    Never one to fear controversy, John Lennon expressed his despair over British rule in Northern Ireland and the “unrest” that erupted in the late 1960s. Lennon becomes a full-fledged folk singer on this tune, playing Woody Guthrie as he describes the genocide and how “a land of beauty and wonder was raped by British brigands. He and Yoko Ono leave no stone unturned, including all the Irish clichés (shamrocks, leprechauns and totling flute on the backing track) in their heartfelt protest song. Lennon wouldn’t be the only former Beatle singing about it in ’72: See # 4 on our list of the 10 best rock songs about Ireland.

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    “Blood of emeralds”

    Gary moore

    From: ‘After the War’ (1989)

    The guitar hero tells his unique musical story in an electrifying epic. Gary Moore sings about being born in Northern Ireland but crossing the border to play music in Dublin. He sings standing side by side with “the darkest son of ireland“: Phil Lynott, former member of Thin Lizzy’s band and friend of Moore. In a way, the song is a testament to Irish unity, with the”blood of emeralds“runs through the veins of Dublin native Lynott and Belfast native Moore. And it features Moore’s uniquely brilliant guitar work.

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    Elton john

    Extract from: “Made in England” (1995)

    Elton John and his lifelong collaborator Bernie Taupin designed this hymn to Belfast and to the courage of its people who work for peace. In the frenzied ballad, John sings “common sense in pieces“but tries for both sides to recognize their points of view. He sings about war and terror on bagpipes and violins that give hope (and an Irish touch) to the song. At the end, John concludes: “every foot in this world needs an inch of belfast. “

  • 5

    “Dear Doom”


    Extract from: “Le Tain” (1973)

    The second half of our list of the 10 best rock songs about Ireland begins with one of the greatest Irish rock hits of all time. “Dearg Doom” is a perfect example of Horslips’ fusion of traditional Celtic music and progressive rock. It was the flagship track of ‘The Tain’, the group’s concept album on the Cattle Raid of Cooley, an old Irish legend. The single is about the courage of the mythical hero Cu Chulainn, who is said to have defended Ulster against a huge army at the age of 17. World Cup anthem.

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    “Give Ireland back to the Irish”


    From: Single (1972)

    Lennon may have been the “political” Beatle, but it was Paul McCartney who chose to release this song as the first single from his new band, Wings. Arriving less than a month later, the hard-boogie song was an almost instantaneous reaction to the Bloody Sunday massacre in Northern Ireland on January 30, 1972. McCartney was not only passionate about Irish unity, but his band had an interest. in the case; guitarist Henry McCullough was originally from Northern Ireland. The controversial song was banned in the UK, where it consistently reached No. 16 on the charts. “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” went to # 1 in the Emerald Isle, of course.

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    “Bloody Sunday Sunday”


    Extract from: “Guerre” (1983)

    Bono used to present live performances of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, with the proclamation “This is not a rebellious song”. Indeed, Larry Mullen Jr.’s militaristic drumbeat runs counter to the lyrics, which describe the events of Bloody Sunday in 1920 and 1972. As such, the song is about the cycle of aimless violence and is a call for unity between Irish Catholics and Protestants. as Christians. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” remains one of U2’s best-known anthems; the band has since dedicated the song to violent tragedies around the world.

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    “Cyprus Avenue”

    Van Morrison

    Extract from: “The Astral Weeks” (1968)

    The centerpiece of Van Morrison’s masterpiece (or one of them anyway), “Cyprus Avenue” floats like a dream as the singer wanders the streets of his teenage years. Van gets “conquered in a car seat»By a vision of this beautiful girl from her past. Cyprus Avenue is a real street in Belfast, Morrison’s hometown; it’s on the other side of the tracks in the poor neighborhoods where he grew up. The seven-minute song is an intoxicating mix of blues, jazz and folk, and memories, daydreams and nightmares. It’s the kind of music that would inspire other songwriters – from Elvis Costello to Bruce Springsteen, both of Irish descent – to look so deeply into their worlds.

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    “Whiskey in the jar”

    Slim Lizzy

    From: Single (1972)

    Phil Lynott and his friends topped the Irish charts for 17 weeks (and our list of the 10 best rock songs about Ireland) with their first hit, a version of the old “Whiskey in the Jar”. The old folk song, which names the mountains of Cork and Kerry, tells the story of a highwayman who robs an English landlord, only to be betrayed by his daughter Molly. As an Irish folk song, it ticks all the boxes – alcohol, violence, sex, tragedy. No wonder it has been played by virtually every Irish musician in history. But the Thin Lizzy version, featuring Eric Bell’s tangy guitar and Lynott’s soulful delivery, has to be the definitive interpretation.

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