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music The Best Irish Folk Songs  

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Some of the best Irish folk songs celebrate all that is great about Ireland and its rich culture. Good Irish songs tell colorful stories, filled with tales of drinking, carousing, and sometimes tragedy. They are lively, and they are fun to belt out. This Irish folk songs list includes all the rousing classics, and some mournful ballads as well.

When it comes to well-known Irish traditional folk music, the song “Whiskey in the Jar” is perhaps the most popular of all. This song is about an Irish bandit who is betrayed by the woman he loves. The old song has been performed folk-style by groups like The Dubliners, and even by mainstream rock bands, including Metallica and Thin Lizzy. Other famous Irish folk songs include “Danny Boy,” “The Gypsy Rover,” “Rocky Road to Dublin,” and “The Fields of Athenry” – a folk ballad about an Irishman forced to leave for Australia after stealing food to feed his starving family during the Great Irish Famine of the mid 1800s. Go to any pub or sporting event in Ireland and you’ll likely hear this song.

What is your favorite among these top Irish folk songs? Be sure to watch the videos and sing along. Then vote your personal picks up to the top of the list!

list ordered by

75 32
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Whiskey in the Jar The Dubliners

51 16
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The Wild Rover The Pogues

40 11
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72 35
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The Fields of Athenry David Arkenstone

42 14
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Galway Girl Steve Earle

36 13
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The Irish Rover The Dubliners

40 17
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Dirty Old Town The Pogues

38 19
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Molly Malone Sinéad O'Connor

24 10
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Will You Go Lassie Go The Clancy Brothers

18 5
Star of the County Down is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Folk Songs
bellobard added Star of the County Down Van Morrison, The Chieftains

32 19
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Danny Boy Frank Patterson

15 4
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The Ferryman The Dublin City Ramblers

18 9
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13 6
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The Best Folk Songs of 2018

14 8
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Red is the Rose The Irish Tenors

13 9
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Lanigan’s Ball Fiddler's Green

11 7
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Grace Jim McCann

10 6
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Muirsheen Durkin Foster & Allen

3 2
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JackHodges added A Pair of Brown Eyes The Pogues

2 1
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JackHodges added A Pair of Brown Eyes The Pogues

9 9
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7 8
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12 16
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The Gypsy Rover The Seekers