Weekly Feature

Associated Press

In Celebration of Ireland: Irish Music

March 16, 2011
by findingDulcinea Staff
Irish music reaches straight back to the Middle Ages, when musical forms emerged that are still played and continue to influence Irish musicians in the 21st century.

Irish Lyricism


Irish Folks

Folk music is one of the most important cultural legacies in Ireland. The music has long been in dialogue with the folk movements of England, the U.S. and Canada.
One of the pioneers of folk music’s popularity in the 1950s was Tommy Makem. While the Beatles were driving Brits and Americans wild, there was another kind of performance happening, and it got just the same spotlight as the Fab Four. Makem appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, won a recording contract with Columbia Records and even performed for President Kennedy.
Makem was actually an expatriate, preferring to remain in the U.S. as the Troubles of 1969 infected his homeland. He lived in the U.S. for the rest of his life. His original songs and renditions of traditional tunes affected audiences and peers alike. According to Economist.com, Bob Dylan adapted Makem’s “The Patriot Game” for his own antiwar ballad, “With God on Our Side.”

Finding Irish Music and Criticism

Modern Irish music is distinctive, and the country has produced some well-known names, including U2, Van Morrison, Def Leppard, Sinéad O’Connor, The Pogues, Bob Geldolf and The Boomtown Rats, The Cranberries, Them, The Divine Comedy, Snow Patrol, Skid Row and The Coors. Today, Ireland continues to produce dozens of exciting musicians.

For Your Ears Only


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