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on Aug 20, 2012 in Wedding Songs
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What are the best Irish wedding songs?
You do not have to be Irish to add Irish flair to you wedding. Irish traditions are very easy to incorporate into a wedding ceremony and reception–and no, we are not talking about green colored beer.
One of the most recognizable and romantic symbols of Ireland is the Claddagh. According to legend, an Irishman was on his way to the West Indies when he was kidnapped and forced into slavery as a goldsmith. He was eventually released, and his former captor offered him his daughter and half his fortune if he would stay and work for him. The Irishman declined and returned home to marry the woman he had left behind (and promised to marry). When he returned, he presented her a ring he had designed himself, the Claddagh. The claddagh ring has a crown-topped heart held by two hands. Today the claddagh symbol can be found on most wedding acecssories and is a subtle way to add Irish flavor to your wedding.
There are two ways that you can add Irish music to your wedding ceremony and wedding reception. The first is to choose traditional Irish songs for your wedding. The second is to play traditional songs, but have them played on Irish instruments or sung by an Irish singer. We will discuss both of these options below.
Irish and Celtic Songs
Quite a few Irish songs that are appropriate for a wedding are available and listed below. We searched high and low for authentic Irish and celtic songs before listing them. One word of caution, we would advise you to stay away from commerical cds that are labeled “Irish wedding music” or “Celtic wedding music.” Most of them either contained music that was in poor quality or contained a selection that was not completely Irish. A prime example of this is Celtic Wedding by the Chieftans.
A second word of warning when choosing Irish songs for a Catholic wedding, not all songs listed will be allowed in a Catholic ceremony. Catholic churches have rules about using secular music. We have labeled a few songs that would be appropriate, but you should check with your local diocese before selecting any music. For more information on this issue, go to our page on Best Catholic Wedding Songs.
Irish and Celtic Instruments and Bands
Although some might consider this cheating, using Irish instruments can be a way to include non-Irish music while keeping with the theme. Bagpipes, more specifically uilleann pipes, are often used at Irish weddings. The uilleann pipes bag is inflated by means of a small set of bellows strapped around the waist and the right arm. The celtic harp is also a favorite for weddings. Other Irish instruments include the fiddle, the Accordion, the flute, the banjo and the guitar.
When looking for Irish musicians, you have a wide range to choose from such as The Irish Tenors, High Kings, Aine Minogue, the Chieftans, Clannah, Celtic Women, or Aine Minogue. Of course, we can not forget modern singers such as Enya, Dolores O’Riordan (from the Cranberries), and Sinead O’Connor. Of course, if you are looking for live music, you can find singers that specialize in Irish music in most larger cities.
Listed below are some of the best Irish wedding songs. For your convenience, we have compiled the songs in a playlist, making it easy for you to listen to a sample or purchase a download.A detailed listing of the songs is provided below the playlist.
Best Songs for Irish Weddings
- “An Chuilfhionn” performed by Druidstone
- “Barry Lyndon, Love Theme” performed by The Chieftans
- “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms” performed by Frank Patterson & John McCormack
- “Bí, A Íosa, im Cróise” performed by William Coulter & Friends
- “The Blessing” performed by Celtic Woman - Not a traditional Irish song, but great for weddings.
- “Bridget Cruise” performed by Alistaire Anderson
- “Bunch of Thyme” performed by Foster & Allen
- “Carolan’s Concerto” performed by The Chieftains
- “Carolan’s Ramble to Cashel” performed by Northern Lights
- “Carrickfergus” performed by Celtic Woman
- “Céad milé fáilte” performed by St. James’s Choir & Niamh Murray
- “Celtic Alleluia” performed by Lois Colin
- “Celtic Melody” performed by Druidstone
- “Celtic Prayer” performed by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
- “The Coolin (Fair Maiden)” performed by Lois Colin
- “Danny Boy” also known as “Londonderry Air” performed by James Wallace
- “Dante’s Prayer” performed by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
- “Donal Agus Morag” performed by Altan
- “Down by The Sally Garden” performed by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
- “Easy and Slow” performed by Ronnie Drew
- “Fig For A Kiss / Sergeant Cahill’s Favorite” performed by William Coulter & Friends
- “A Gaelic Blessing” by John Rutter
- “Give Me Your Hand” (Tamhair dom do lamb) performed by Joemy Wilson
- “Haste to the Wedding” performed by The Corrs
- “Haste to the Wedding” performed by Lois Colin
- “Haven Green” performed by Lois Colin
- “I Know My Love” performed by The Chieftans
- “Irish Wedding Song” performed by Lois Colin
- “King of Love My Shepherd Is” performed by Saint Clement’s Choir
- “Maids When You’re Young (Never Wed an Old Man)” performed by King Laoghaire
- “March Of The King Of Laois” performed by William Coulter & Friends
- “Marie’s Wedding” performed by The High Kings
- “Mairi’s Wedding” (The Lewis Bridal Song) performed by Lois Colin
- “Mary From Dungloe” performed by Derrick Mehaffey
- “May The Road Rise To Meet You” performed by Jackopierce
- “Mountains of Mourne” performed by Various Artists
- “My Lovely Rose of Clare” performed by Foster & Allen
- “My Heart Will Go On” performed by Celtic Uilleann Pipes (from Titanic) - Not quite an Irish song, but this version sounds Irish.
- “My Wild Irish Rose” performed by Morton Downey
- “Neansaí Mhíle Grá” performed by Clannad
- “O Sacrament Most Holy” performed by Thomas Jones
- “Old Maid in the Garret” performed by Brier
- “Over The Rainbow” performed by Celtic Woman - Not a traditional Irish song, but great for weddings.
- “The Prayer” performed by Celtic Woman - Not a traditional Irish song, but great for weddings.
- “Raglan Road” performed by Luke Kelly
- “The Rose Of Allendale” performed by Mary Black
- “The Rose of Tralee” performed by Christopher Lynch
- “Rosen Dubh” (Little Dark Rose) performed by Lois Colin
- “Sally Gardens” performed by Lois Colin
- “Salve Regina” by Paul Schwartz
- “She Moved Through the Fair” performed by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
- “Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór” performed by Lois Colin - Instrumental
- “Slane (Be Thou My Vision)” performed by Lois Colin
- “Sliabh Na Mban” performed by Johnny McEvoy
- “Snowy-Breasted Pearl” performed by Paddy Reilly
- “Spancilhill” performed by Pat McKernan
- “Skye Boat Song” performed by Lois Colin
- “Spinning Wheel Song” performed by Idlewild
- “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” performed by Dennis and Paula Doyle
- “Star of County Down” performed by The King’s Singers
- “The Star of the County Down” performed by Lois Colin
- “Sweet Sacrament Divine” performed by Various Artists
- “Wild Rover” performed by The High Kings
- “Will Ye Go Lassie, Go?” performed by The High Kings
- “Woman As Salvation” performed by Jackopierce