The following are often-sung Irish folk ballads
. The songs are arranged by theme under two main categories of 'Political' and 'Not Political' and are not necessarily contemporary to the events to which they relate.
Songs may fit into more than one category, but where possible are grouped uniquely to where is most appropriate.
Anti-War and Anti-Recruiting
16th and 17th centuries
- Bonny Bunch of Roses
- Bonny Light Horseman
- Eighteenth of June
- Grand Conversation on Napoleon
- Isle of Saint Helena
- Lonely Waterloo
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Napoleon's Farewell to Paris
- Napoleon's Lamentation
- Plains of Waterloo
- Wounded Hussar
- Welcome Napoleon to Erin
Songs relating to the Irish Rebellion of 1798
(though not necessarily contemporary):
- Bagnel Harvey's Farewell
- Ballyshannon Lane
- Boolavogue - Song about Father John Murphy, one of the leaders of the Wexford rebels, written by P.J. McCall (1861-1919) for the centenary anniversary in 1898.
- Boys of '98 - Irish-American tribute.
- The Boys of Wexford
- By Memory Inspired - is a tributary role-call of many of the heroes who died in the rebellion.
- Come All You Warriors (Father Murphy) - song written close to the time of the rebellion upon which later songs such as Boulavogue were based.
- The Croppy Boy - One of the saddest of the 1798 rebellion songs, it is concerned with the period following the suppression of the rebellion and how the climate of repression saw relatives and close family deny any links to condemned rebels for fear of being deemed guilty by association.
- Croppies Lie Down - a Unionist or Orangeman's perspective on the rebels triumphant defeat.
- Dunlavin Green - Local ballad written in response to the massacre of 36 prisoners suspected of United Irish sympathies in Dunlavin, co. Wicklow on May 24th 1798.
- Henry Joy - Ballad about United Irish leader Henry Joy McCracken.
- The Heroes of '98 - patriotic song by Bruce Scott.
- Jimmy Murphy - song of music hall origin with distinctly unusual chorus
- Kelly of Killanne - Famous ballad by P.J. McCall (1861-1919), reflecting exploits of John Kelly, one of the most popular leader of Wexford rebels.
- The Liberty Tree - Anonymous United Irishmen ballad in praise of the French Revolution.
- The Memory of the Dead Ballad recalling the rebellion's heroes by John Kells Ingram.
- The Minstrel Boy - In remembrance of a number of friends of Thomas Moore who lost their lives in the rebellion.
- The Rising of the Moon - This ballad invokes the hope and optimism surrounding the outbreak of the Irish rebellion of 1798.
- Roddy McCorley - Famous ballad by Ethna Carbery lamenting the execution of the young Antrim Presbyterian rebel, Roddy McCorley.
- The Sean-Bhean bhocht - The "Poor old woman," i.e. Ireland, is about to be liberated in tandem with the French. Also known as "The French are on the Sea."
- Tone's Grave - Lament for Wolfe Tone, United Irish leader, the ballad is more commonly known as "Bodenstown Churchyard," written by Thomas Davis, one of the leaders of Young Ireland movement.
- The Wearing of the Green - Song about repression after the rebellion.
- The Wind that Shakes the Barley - A young man's remorse at leaving his lady love to join the United Irishmen is cut short when she is killed by an English bullet.
War of Independence and Post-Treaty Republicanism
The Great War 1914 - 1918
- Clare's Dragoons - lyrics here
- The Connaght Rangers - by Charles Martin, lyrics here Not to be confused with the song of the same name by Brian Warfield which refers to the mutiny of the First Battalion of the regiment in response to the Irish Civil War.
- Gallipoli - lyrics here
- The Green Fields of France - lyrics here
- It's a Long Way to Tipperary
- Salonica - song about the Irish serving in the British Army in the First World War.
Northern Conflict 1969-98
Miscellaneous and Uncategorised
Work and Industry
Love, Sex and Romance
These songs can be grouped as: aislings, broken token songs, night visiting songs etc.
See also Hedgeschool Master songs below, many of which are love songs.
Places, Emigration and Travel
Songs of the Travelling People
- The Blue Tar Road - song by Liam Weldon
- Danny Farrell
- Goodbye to the Thirty Foot Trailer - also known as 'Farewell to the Life of the Rover'
- Last of the Travelling People - song by Pecker Dunne
- The Tinker's Lullaby - song by Pecker Dunne
Sport,Play and Fighting
Hedge Schoolmaster Songs
- The Boys of Mullaghbawn
- Cloghamon Mill
- The Colleen Rue
- The Cottage Maid
- The Cuckoo's Nest - by John Sheils
- Flower of Gortade
- Old Arboe - a song in praise of a spot near Lough Neagh in Co Tyrone
- Sheila Nee Iyer - parody of an aisling
- Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book, Oak publications, 1982, ISBN-10: 082560284X ISBN-13: 978-0825602849.
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