“Top 40” Traditional Irish Tunes

These are the top 40 tunes of all time. The first 20 are totally killer. Except for the waltzes, these tunes are all played with strong rhythmic emphasis.

Originally published 2001

These are the top 20 kick-butt tunes of all time. Definitive recordings are listed, as well.

  1. Calliope House — Lord of the Dance fiddle set
  2. Congress Reel — Lord of the Dance fiddle set
  3. Dick Gossip’s Reel(Castle Reel) — Lord of the Dance fiddle set
  4. Banish Misfortune
  5. Cooley’s Reel
  6. Drowsy Maggie — Altan, Best of.
  7. Flogging Reel
  8. Gravel Walk
  9. Jenny’s Chickens
  10. Julia Delaney
  11. Mountain Road
  12. Musical Priest
  13. Temperance Reel (Teetotaler’s Reel)
  14. Rights of Man
  15. Smash the Windows(Roaring Jelly)
  16. Sweeney’s Buttermilk — Michael O’Domhnail (“Mih-hail O’Donnel”): Celtic Christmas IV.
  17. Tam Lin Reel (Tamlinn, Howling Wind) — Steel Eye Span: Time. Gaelic Storm: Gaelic Storm.
  18. Tommy Peoples — Altan: Best of.
  19. Toss the Feathers — The Corrs: Forgiven, Not Forgotten.
  20. Trim the Velvet

Here are another 15 that totally rock.

  1. Apples in Winter
  2. Banshee (McMahon’s)
  3. Chicago Jig (Dusty Windowsill)
  4. Cup of Tea
  5. Eavesdropper
  6. Eibhlin Ni Riordan’s (“eileen”)
  7. Emyvale [Altan: Best of]
  8. Gallagher’s Frolics (Follies)
  9. Heaton Chapel [Lunasa: Otherworld.]
  10. Kid on the Mountain
  11. Martin Wynne’s #2
  12. Morning Dew
  13. Morrison’s Jig
  14. Mug of Brown Ale (Clare Jig)
  15. Trip to the Cottage

Here are three more strong, popular session tunes.

  1. Kesh Jig
  2. St. Anne’s Reel
  3. Wind that Shakes the Barley

And to round out the list, 2 wonderful waltzes:

  1. Innis Seer (“inn-is sheer”)
  2. Si Bheag Si Mohr (“she bag shi more”)

And, for a bonus:

  1. Dunsmore Lasses (aka Road to Knock)

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    1. Introducing Irish Music | Treelight.com April 21, 2017 (9:36 pm)

      […] work drives the tune into orbit. For examples, see the recordings mentioned in my list of the “Top 40” Irish Tunes. A few stellar examples are Dennis Cahill (“cah-hill”) accompanying Martin Hayes, […]

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