As we find ourselves on the brink of the month of March, we’re just weeks closer to having our great Chicago River dyed green in celebration for Ireland’s biggest holiday. From hot dogs to pizza and baseball to hockey, there are many things Chicago does best, but one of the most unquestionable would be St. Patrick’s Day. Even if you haven’t tasted a pint of Guinness or know how to dance the Irish jig, everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Here are just a few of the many songs to celebrate with this March 17.
1. “Whiskey in the Jar” — The Dubliners
Kicking off the playlist with a more traditional Irish song, “Whiskey in the Jar” has not only become one of the most popular songs to come out of Ireland in the past 50 years, but also one of the most covered songs by bands and artists all over the country. Originally released in 1968 by the Irish folk band The Dubliners, it has become covered by bands like The Pogues, Thin Lizzy and even Metallica (earning the metal band a Grammy for the song for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2000). Whether you prefer the rock version, folk or metal,
“Whiskey in the Jar” is easily the go-to song for St. Patrick’s Day.
2. “Galway Girl” — Steve Earle
Possibly covered more than “Whiskey in the Jar” is Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl,” which was released in 2000. In the song, Earle tells the tale of a beautiful black-haired blue-eyed girl he meets in Galway, Ireland, a city off the west coast of the island. Whether it was because it was featured in the 2007 film “P.S. I Love You,” or perhaps just overtime because of St. Patrick’s Day, “Galway Girl” has quickly become one of the catchiest songs to play on this Irish holiday. And while there are dozens on dozens
3. “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” — Dropkick Murphys
More contemporary and less folk sounding than the others, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” effectively put Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys on the map. While the band has yet to find a hit this popular ever since, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” has been featured frequently in Notre Dame football and Boston Red Sox games along with notably being used in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed.” It can surely be used as a pump up song for St.Patrick’s Day.
4. “Irish Celebration” — Macklemore
This is easily my least recommended song of the list for St. Patrick’s Day, but it is still worth a listen. The song mostly entails a celebration of Irish American heritage, of which Macklemore obviously has. The song has a nice anthem feel to it ,but it’s far from a tune that can be played more than once on this Irish holiday. So if you’re looking for some mix between hip-hop and Irish folklore, Macklemore’s “Irish Celebration” will be your go-to.