The magical Emerald Isle isn’t just home to beautiful landscapes, friendly people, and tasty beer — some of my favorite musicians hail from Ireland. In honor of the end of March, the month everyone associates with green and St. Patrick’s Day, it seems fitting to showcase some of my favorite Irish artists and bands. Below is a small list highlighting these four special artists and bands that wear their Irish pride.
1. The Cranberries
I’m always in the mood for The Cranberries. Dolores O’Riordan has one of my favorite voices of all-time. Whether you are looking for a love song or a song with political meaning and passion, The Cranberries deliver both with incredible style.
Some favorites: “Free to Decide,” “Hollywood,” “Salvation,” “Electric Blue,” “I Just Shot John Lennon,” “War Child,” “Linger,” “Disappointment,” and the classic “Zombie”
I know their new stuff is lacking, but their original tunes are just phenomenal. I’ve grown up listening to this band, and it’s been a staple in my family for years – even my grandma loved them. Bono is a great songwriter and so many of his songs tell complex and powerful stories. U2 will always have a place in my heart.
Some favorites: “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “All I Want is You,” “City of Blinding Lights,” and “One.”
3. Sinéad O’Connor
Though I’ve listened to only a few songs by her, I am in love with her voice and strongly associate her with Irish politics and history. Despite the controversy that surrounds Sinéad, she’s an important Irish figure and contributor to music.
My favorite: Her performance of “The Foggy Dew” with the Chieftains
This man’s voice is so angelic and soothing I sometimes question whether he’s actually human. Anytime I need to relax, I can always count on Hozier to put me in a good, calm mood. He represents the Irish talent of recent years and does so masterfully.
My favorites: “Someone New,” “From Eden,” and “Cherry Wine”
Every year for the past ten years or so, my family hosts a large St. Patrick’s Day party with corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and even bagpipe players. We play the same music every year, and it gets us all in the celebratory mood. Though a tiny playlist, it’s perfect for our party and brings a little bit of Ireland into our house every year – traditional Celtic music is one of my favorite kinds of music.