An Irish Christmas

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Fairytale Of New York (The Pogues, Kirsty Maccoll)
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Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (U2)
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Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Damien Rice)
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When I Get Home For Christmas (Snow Patrol)
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Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Ronan Keating)
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Silent Night (Lisa Hannigan)
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A Spaceman Came Travelling (Chris de Burgh)
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The Christmas Song (Gilbert O'Sullivan)
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Carol Of The Bells (Celtic Woman)
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Bells Of Dublin / Christmas Eve (The Chieftains)
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Christmas In Killarney (The Irish Rovers)
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The Little Drummer Boy (The Priests)
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In The Bleak Midwinter (Moya Brennan)
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Merry Christmas Tuam (The Saw Doctors)
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Wexford Carol (James Galway)
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Snow Is Lightly Falling (Nightnoise)
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Going Home For Christmas (Phil Coulter)
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White Christmas (The Kelly Family)
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Irish people do tend to celebrate Christmas in a way that not many other countries can match. For the guts of a week the Emerald Isle comes to a standstill while all manner of seasonal merriment takes place across the land. And to soundtrack this fun there is plenty of Irish Christmas songs to ensure the nights are long and the hangovers are even longer. You don’t have to be Irish to appreciate one of the best Christmas songs ever written, namely ‘Fairytale of New York’ by the Pogues. Yeah it plays on the old Irish stereotypes but behind the swearing and foul humour is a classic old romance that refuses to die despite its chequered history.

And there are plenty more contemporary Irish artists willing to leave their mark on the season, even if it is for the most part with songs that they didn’t write themselves. Thankfully both Gilbert O’Sullivan and Chris De Burgh deemed Christmas important enough to make the effort in writing sometjing bright and new. And both tunes are certainly that with Waterford’s finest adding colour to his little ditty by way of a children’s chorus. Chris De Burgh went one step further with ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ which has divided opinion since its release in 1975. Is it about Jesus or Santa, nobody seems to know but this song has remained a fixture on the Irish Christmas music calendar for decades.

This playlist of Irish Christmas songs also leans towards the traditional as Moya Brennan from Clannad gives a typically spectral performance of the 19th century carol ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’. Traditional band the Chieftains give it instrumental socks on ‘Bells of Dublin/Christmas Eve’, a medley that is inclined to kick start a session to beat all Christmas sessions. The phenomenally successful Priests (they really are men of the cloth) keep things much more restrained on their rendition of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’. Not that that is a bad thing at all because the building momentum provides several inspiring moments. Of a similar hue and also capable of producing goosebumps is Celtic Woman’s Irishfied ‘Carol of The Bells’.

All told this is a playlist of Irish Christmas songs that offers sometime for everyone, from those in the lap of debauchery to the others for who the spiritual takes centre stage each December. Nollaig Shona Dhuit.

Published by SpiritOfXmas |
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