IRISH SONG WORDS We have gathered together here Irish songs, some of which are well known others not well so. We have added a link to an artist or band singing the song where possible. Just click on the song you wish to see the words to and listen to.
The Hills of Donegal
Being a Donegal website of course we had to add songs written about this beautiful county. Some of the songs in this section are as well as being about Donegal also about emigration but we have kept them in the Donegal Songs section.
Emigration has featured in Irish history for hundreds of years. During the last Famine (1845-51) something like one and a half to two million people emigrated to try to escape starvation and disease. The trend to emigrate continued with people seeking to find a better life for themselves and their families in America, Australia Britain, and Canada. The conditions on the ships on which they travelled were extremely bad and many never made the journey, dying on board of disease. This is why the ships were called "coffin ships".
As a result of so much emigration, many songs have been written both about emigration and about the memories of what they had left behind. The emigrants of course had hope for a better life but they also knew that the people and places they left behind they would almost certainly never see again. The journey to America at the end of the 19th century took over six weeks.
Anywhere Irish people gather for a drink and to socialise undoubtedly a sing song will eventually get up. Although of course there may be some sad songs sang at some time during the evening, many others will be of a happy, upbeat nature to get the crowd to sing along and these are some of the songs you might hear.
Given Ireland's troubled and turbulent past it is hardly surprising that many songs were written telling of this past. There are songs that relate to the 1798 Rebellion, the Uprising of 1916, and later songs relating to 'the Troubles' of the 1960s and '70s in the six counties of Ireland, still under British rule.
Being a passionate race of people there are many Irish songs written both about the joys of love and the heartbreak of lost love whether from the breakdown of love or the death or imminent death of a loved partner.