I don’t know if I ever made this a common fact on my blog, but I am, in fact, a quarter Irish. I try to celebrate this fact by drinking myself to an early grave, at least twice a day. However, other than my superhuman intake of vile liquids, I am a fairly rubbish Irishman. I have never been to Ireland (trying to convince my friend to organize our other friend’s Stag Do for Dublin, however), I hardly keep in touch with the Irish side of my family and I am often so busy expressing the Cornish side of my heritage, my Irish roots get left forgotten, unless I need to use the accent when I see a hot girl at the bar.
This is where music comes in. Music is already a fantastic way to express emotions, so I believe that it should express heritage too. However, seeing as most Irish music is your typical Pogues-esque drunk man sitting in the corner of the bar, mumbling into a microphone, it is tricky to pinpoint the right song to celebrate our Irishness. I have two bands and a song that I always fall back on, though. These songs feel both nostalgic and uplifting, and when I cannot think of a song to put on, I usually fall back on these songs.
3 – THE CORRS
Does anyone remember the Corrs? I feel like I missed out on such a massive part of the music scene, when I was younger, because my music taste revolved around how cool it would make me look. This was back when the Britney Spears CDs were kept tightly locked in the closet. My mother really liked this band, so I can remember them vaguely. I remembered that I liked looking at the pretty black-haired Irish ladies, but god, I couldn’t be associated with this music. It was too easy-listening and there were no black people with sideways hats in the music videos.
This is one of those moments where I really want to slap teenage Luke. That guy was a twat! The Corrs are a terrific band and it is a shame that they never caught on. Those vocals are incredible and the lyrics are well thought out. I liked the idea of a female ‘rock’ band, as that genre was dominated by men at the time (it kind of still is). And yes, I know that this is a very feminine take on rock with the softer beat and the love song vibe, but it still counts. Besides, for the purposes of the article, it makes me feel Irish and is a nice easy-listening tune for me to write articles to.
2 – STEVE MAC – PADDY’S REVENGE
I remember when I was at University, St Patrick’s Day, came around. I nominated myself for the duty of pre-drinks playlist manager and got to thinking of what songs to put on for getting ready to go out and get our Guinness on. And that was a tricky thought process. As I said, most Irish music is either drunken men singing about killing their wives (I think), or something soft like the Corrs. Hardly, the music you want to listen to, before heading out on the town.
Then I found this. Words cannot really express how amazing this song is. I am sure most of you readers will hate this song with a passion, but I just love the fun nature of the song. Steve Mac obviously realized the same problem I had just done; there are no clubby Irish songs. He immediately fixed that and had a laugh while doing so. I can just close my eyes now and picture hundreds of drunken dancers doing an Irish jig on the dance floor. If that doesn’t make you feel Irish, I have no idea what will.
1 – THE CRANBERRIES
Of course, I was going to include the Cranberries (you all thought I was going to put U2 as the top point – psyche!). Just like the Corrs, their songs just capture that essential Irishness. The problem I have with the Corrs is that I only really like their most mainstream songs; you have to sift through a lot of rubbish to get to the gems of their discography. The Cranberries, however, are always amazing. They could be one of my favorite bands of all time, simply because their music has presence, something that a lot of bands these days cannot muster up in their music.
They are also so original. Some might find the lead singer’s voice unbelievably annoying, but I appreciate the fact that their music sounds so different from anything else out there. Besides, I spend most of my free time listening to Shakira and Ellie Goulding; I can cope with annoying voices. Their songs also feel clever and deep. Zombie has so much meaning in the song that it will always be thought of as a classic. Yet at the same time, you can just put on a Cranberries song and relax into the music. This band will always be a cornerstone of music. And, while we are talking about it, Irishness.