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Curated Country Guide: Ireland: Irish Music

This guide contains a curation of information about Ireland.

A Taste of Celtic Music

Molly Malone is a traditional Irish Folk song that tells the tale of a fishwife who piled her trade on the streets of Dublin. The song is known as the unofficial anthem of Dublin and has survived throughout the years in various versions and adaptations by many artists and musicians alike. The Dubliners, an Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962, is one of many that adapted and performed the song. The group is well known in Ireland for their various recordings of other folk music as well, including Seven Drunken Nights and The Black Velvet Band.  

The Fields of Athenry has been coined as Ireland’s unofficial anthem. The song was written in 1979 by Pete St. John, with lyrics set during the great famine of the 1840’s. The song tells a tale of a fiction man from Athenry who stole food for his starving family. He was then sentenced to be sent to the Australian penal colony following his crime. This performance of the song occurred in May of 2019 by the town of Athenry and KamilFilms, a Youtube channel that focuses on capturing music, history, and experiences through the art of film and photography. The video depicts, up to 2019, the world’s biggest street performance with over 5000 Irish people and people of Irish decent accompanied by the 118 tin whistle players.

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