A St. Patty’s Day DeJamz


Kiss us, we’re awesome. This week’s DeJamz comes from The DePaulia’s very own Irish-persons in residence, Una and Patrick. Though it’s been a minute since either of us have been to mass, we’re still more than qualified to put together a playlist in homage to the Patron Saint of Being Rad™. So if you’re unsure of what to play this St. Patty’s Day, think about playing some of these jamz that are near and dear to our kelly green hearts.

“Black Velvet Band”-The Dubliners – Una

Brown bread, black irish pudding and barry’s tea filled the table of my grandmother’s house every morning as she simultaneously was planning a dinner with my 30 cousins, 20 aunts and uncles. My grandmother always left the door open on those hot, sticky days in Yonkers, New York as neighbors came in and out with Black Velvet Band playing surrounding the walls of the house. As a young girl, those two weeks spent in Yonkers every summer with my family listening to Black Velvet Band and other Irish ballads was an oasis in a time of happiness and love, spent at the Irish diner Rory Dohlans and playing baseball at Tibbets Park. Listening to Black Velvet Band will always remind me of those precious moments spent with my grandmother, a mother of nine children, an Irish immigrant at the age of 16, and the strongest woman I know. 

“The Tain” – The Decemberists – Padraig

Though not exactly a background party track for gulping down some green beer on St. Patty’s, I’d be remiss to not mention Colin Meloy’s (how’s that for an Irish name?) “The Tain.” The 18-minute track, based on “Táin Bó Cúailnge,” the Irish mythological epic written around 630 A.D., is laid out in five parts, each paying homage to a tale in the famous Irish chronicle. Like all of my songs on this list, it’s technically American, but still, Meloy masterfully does his usual thing, only this time with our little island across the Atlantic in mind. Using brashly droll lyrics like “salty little pisser” to refer to Irish Queen Medb and later announces the epic’s most famous character, Cú Chulainn with a waltz. Side note: I recommend looking up Cú Chulainn a.k.a. the Hound of Ulster. He’s like an Irish Hercules mixed with The Hulk.

“Come on Eileen”-Dexys Midnight Runners – Una

Nothing is more humbling than a teenage boy taking the phone from your hands because you played “Come on Eileen” on aux at a party, an experience that has shaped the course of my life. While Playboi Carti’s Sky may get the 16-year-old boys riled up, nothing can compare to the utter masterpiece and release of teenage angst that is “Come on Eileen.” The build-up that leads to a release of the chorus feels like an eternal happy moment in time. “Come on Eileen” is a perfect song to blast in your childhood room as you get ready for school, to play on the train platform of the L as get ready to take on your day, and most importantly to play at a party as the pubescent boys yell, “who’s on aux, turn that sh** off!

“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” – Dropkick Murphys – Paddy

I know. It’s pretty on the nose. It’s got to be the most over-played song at any St. Patty’s Day shindig, but you’re going to sit there and tell me that familiar riff doesn’t get your blood pumping every March 17? It gets me hyped and I’m not going to apologize for that. Though it’s technically American, hearing this banger (and mashed) after a couple shots of Jameson always makes me feel like getting into a scrap with some occupying Brits. 

“Dreams”-The Cranberries – Una

“Dreams” by the Cranberries is a machine that transports you to the Cliffs of Moher as a Gaelic god appears from the heavens above. As Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan sings in her angelic voice, “Dreams” truly does provide the listener with an out-of-body experience from start to finish. O’Riordan tempts the listener throughout the song with a build-up that leads to the quintessential moment, her Gaelic roar. A feeling of contemptuous and utter peace yet rage fills your ears as O’Riordan and others sing for the last 30 seconds a combination of A’s and O’s that lifts the soul. 

“Brotherhood” – Flatfoot 56 – Pat 

Had to show some love for Chicago’s own Irish American Flatfoot 56 on my inaugural DeJamz. “Brotherhood” is probably their most known track, and there’s a reason for it. It’s a great example of Flatfoot merging traditional Irish folk sounds with modern (at the time) somewhat pop-y punk. Like all the best Irish tunes, it’s an anthem of rebellion and uprising. With lyrics like “their cause was justice they strove to be pure, all of hell shook when their knees hit the floor,” it always causes sons and daughters of Éire to raise a glass to the Emerald Isle dissenters who came before us. Sláinte, you lads and lasses, tiocfaidh ár lá.