Though St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17, it is just a culmination of weeks of Irish and Celtic music played throughout Denver in anticipation of the holiday, including here at Swallow Hill Music.
To help all of us get ready, we asked Gobs’ guitarist Martin “Marty” Lambuth for a dozen songs he would include on a playlist of essential St. Patrick’s Day celebration songs.
Marty was open to the idea, but he warned us it was a “tricky question.” He continued:
We do traditional Irish folk. A lot of people not familiar with that assume songs like “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” etc. are essential St. Patrick’s songs. But we don’t do them.
We tell people our repertoire is traditional Irish folk songs and songs like those were actually written in America for Broadway plays. “Danny Boy” may be the only one we do that’s truly traditional as well as essential that would be recognizable to non-Irish celebrants.
Tricky question or not, Marty replied later that day with a list of songs, saying “It’s hard to narrow down, so I’m giving you 20 from which to choose, no particular order.”
It’s a great mix ranging from drinking songs to ballads of lost love, tall tales, to those that deal directly with Ireland’s troubled political past. We are happy to share the playlist with you here, hopefully you recognize some old favorites and discover some new ones to help you hoist your pint of stout proudly on St. Patrick’s Day.
Then, if you are up for singing some Irish tunes, join us in Quinlan Cafe on Thursday, March 16 for the St. Patrick’s Day edition of Folk Music Karaoke. This is a free event, and you get to sing with a live band!