Your Favourite Folk Song

Luke Kelly - Night visiting song, love the vocals on this really shows Kelly’s range and also great historical content.

Luke Kelly - Rare aul times, it’s just Dublin true and true, the aul lad would sing this at almost every family gathering, first song I think I ever learned.

Christy Moore - missing you, played this song over and over when I left Ireland first and was away from the wife and Kids for about 3 months, very powerful and relevant to my personal immigration tale.

Special mentions to, Peggy Gordon, the Foggy dew, Rainy night in Soho, ordinary man, streets of New York.


A few not mentioned but are dear to me.
Grace by Jim Mc Cann.
Vincent 52 by Richard Thompson
Star by Christy Hennessey

The ma used to sing Clare to Here, and she loved Ralph McTell, she sang in a local choir herself. So great memories for me that one.

As I’ve posted elsewhere Raggle Taggle Gypsy/Tabhar Dom Do Lamh is my favourite. After that there’s just too many great tunes. West Coast of Clare is one. I love Dimming of the Day, and Moving Hearts’ Lake of Shadows, and Before The Deluge. And then for some real trad folk, there’s Mo Ghile Mear, sung by something like a male Sean Nos singer

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Not a Male but Mary Black does a decent version!


Fields of Athenry sung by young street singer for the end of the Veronica Guerin movie.


The time has come by Christy Moore is heartbreaking .


I beg your pardon!:slight_smile:

Does this count???

Whiskey in the jar is another classic.
Davry Spillane on pipes playing Boolavogue.
No Frontiers, a Jimmy McCarthy song, as sung by Mary Black.
Mary Black singing Mick Hanly’s Past the Point of Rescue is another favourite. Hal Ketcham had a huge country/rock hit with that song making Hanly a lot of well-deserved dosh.
Speaking of Hanly, from the BBC/RTE television series in the early 90’s, Bringing it All Back Home, there’s a great duet by himself and Dolores Keane called My Love is in America (possibly written by Hanly) - very poignant.
Also from the same show/album, Mary Black, Dolores Keane and Emmy Lou Harris singing Sonny - lovely harmonies.
Again, from that show, Paul Brady does an acoustic version of his own song Nothing But the Same Old Story with Donal Lunny accompanying him on bouzouki.

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Written about Hunger Striker Patsy O’Hara.

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Reminds me of one not a folk song by any means but I love the version of Can’t help falling in love by Lick the tins at the end of The Snapper. We were on a stags recently and it came on in the bar and the significance of it was lost on the younger lads. Many of whom have never seen any of the Barrytown Trilogy.

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Wow, I never knew that. Good man. Makes sense now.

All ballads are folks songs but not all folk songs are ballads. Folk songs are any songs from a particular culture or region. Ballads are songs that tell a story.
That’s my understanding. Even at that, you’re right, splitting hairs really.

Hard to pick a 3. Some of my favourites
Finnegan’s Wake
Green Fields of France
Scorn Not His Simplicity
When You Were Sweet 16
Fiddler’s Green

On a side note here’s Kate Bush singing Mná na hÉireann

Lukes version of Come my little son


Agree with all the above. Probably mentioned already but I’d put Paul’s “Arthur McBride” in my top 5. Live version on TV from the 70s, curly 'fro, geek specs, legend.

The sun is burning and the rare aul times luke Kelly

Great song. Written by Ian Campbell, father it Robin and Ali Campbell of UB40.

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Good call Dutchman. Makem and Clancy’s Place in the Choir also.
Ordinary Man was a great album, I think I liked Sweet Music Roll On most by a nose. Christy singing about Dublin, rare enough

He was great. As was another troubled soul, Tim Hardin. Don’t make promises though…

Did we have Ewan McColls version already? One of those tunes that when I first heard it on the radio I knew a whole world of song still remained to unfold to me