Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We asked some of The New Classical FM’s on-air personalities to help us get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit by sharing some of their favourite Irish song picks. We hope you’ll enjoy!
1. “There once was a troop o’ Irish dragoons” or Bonnie Lass of Fyfe
….Now there’s a strange choice with which to lead off as it’s generally agreed that it’s a Scottish tune but it concerns a troop of Irish Dragoons whose captain falls in love with a local girl and cannot be made to leave her. He refuses to march away and, as the lyrics go:
the colonel in a rage drew his pistol and took aim at the bonniest lad in all o’ the army ‘o,
He fired the deadly ball and our captain he did fall
I include this because the Scots and Irish sing the saddest songs with the most gusto.
2. The Minstrel Boy
Oddly enough I prefer a purely instrumental version from the suite arranged by Richard Hayman who I saw conduct his Manhattan Pops orchestra at community concerts in Belleville where I grew up.
One sword at least thy rights shall guard,one faithful harp shall praise thee…
3. I dreamed I dwelt in marble halls…..
A sort of adopted child of no true Irish association but even James Joyce quotes from it here and there. A song that to me touches on the love sent to us early in life so that ever after we know what loss is.
But I also dreamt which charmed me most
That you loved me still the same
That you loved me
You loved me still the same,
There’s plenty of versions but Sumi Jo does it for me…
Big huge man, big huge voice, with an over-the top yet vulnerable rendition of a great Irish song.
2. Danny Boy
Danny Boy is always a safe bet…John McDermott singing it is probably the most famous Irish song ever
3. Come again, sweet love doth now invite…
Tenor Michael Slattery suggests on his CD, Dowland in Dublin, that Dowland may have been born in Ireland. Wandering minstrel John Dowland’s Come again, sweet love doth now invite is a truly great lute song, beautifully sung by Slattery. Sting does it also but his voice is not great to listen to…