It’s a very special time of year, everyone. Girl Scout cookies are on each grocery store corner, March Madness is about to begin, and America’s favorite drinking holiday is almost upon us! That’s right- this Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, or as Charlie Sheen calls it… Well, he still calls it St. Patrick’s Day like most people - he just parties extra hard, I’d imagine. Many a green beer will be consumed, and most will wake up the next day feeling more tired than a Charlie Sheen reference. With that in mind, we have to get ready with this year’s St. Patrick’s Day playlist. Raise your mp3 player in celebration!
All lads and lasses are familiar with this classic U2 cut, which describes the sensation of getting a bloody nose after too many St. Patty’s Day antics. Well actually that’s not true- it really is a tale lamenting the violent unrest in Northern Ireland. Over haunting machine gun drums and a riff fit for history, Bono channels the urgency to give peace a chance. All jokes aside, it’s a poignant and immediate song that holds a beauty all its own.
Several performers have recorded this classic Irish song, and Makem & Clancy certainly make it their own. These two talented songwriters collaborated to create albums that exemplified Irish folk music- they’re as Irish as Catholic guilt! This is will really get you in the mood to wear some green and grab a Guinness.
We all remember this four-on-the-floor romper from the Academy Award winning film, The Departed. The Murphys hail from good ol’ Boston- an American city which definitely has a healthy Irish American population. You know what other city we hear has a great Irish contingency? Dublin, Ireland! Truth.
The Mad Caddies are a fantastically unique band- weaving elements of reggae, punk, rock, and even Dixieland jazz into a beautiful melting pot of melody. Horns, guitars, bass and drums freely intertwine while singer Chuck Robertson croons over a beautifully beach-y reggae beat, “Drinking for eleven/ that’s just what I do/ when I’m not with you/ my heart goes to bed.” That’s usually what happens on St. Patrick’s Day, isn’t it?
You could take any Flogging Molly track and put it on this playlist; if you’ve ever heard them, you know what I’m talking about. They are a punk band that could be alternately dubbed “Frenetic Irish folk music.”
I was in a punk band in college that did a cover of this song. Needless to say, The Pogues and the Dubliners do a much better job. It’s a quintessential Irish song, retelling the tale of an old Irish ship and an epic journey that came to a tragic end.
The Lawrence Arms are a clever, wistful and terminally Midwestern punk band. Hailing from Chicago, they have always displayed a wit and whimsy clearly influenced by Irish folk music. Also, extra points for having a great song title!
Chumbawamba is a band that really stands the test of time. Actually, I think they just test your patience! This song sounds like an old Irish Drinking song if it were produced by Max Martin. The emphatic chorus, “I get knocked down/ but I get up again/ You’re never gonna keep me down,” summarizes the plight of the Irish pretty well. And this song is more annoying than an angry drunk on St. Patrick’s Day!
We’d be remiss if we left these Oakland punks off our list- after all, St. Patrick’s Day is a sort of “green day” isn’t it? This eponymous song hails from Green Day’s first album- 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. It’s a raw, charming and early version of the punk band that would grow to be superstars.
not sure if anybody can drink quite like NOFX. “One more round/ then it’s bottles to the ground,” singer Fat Mike proclaims as he spirals down into a state of prolonged inebriation. Falling off the wagon has never sounded so catchy! Although, I wouldn’t trust having a drink with Fat Mike at SXSW!
Now you’re armed with the music of the Emerald Isle to keep you going this St. Patty’s Day. Be sure to have fun this weekend, but be safe. And most importantly- don’t kiss anyone who isn’t Irish!