Last week I had the honor of seeing Glen Hansard perform at Massey Hall in Toronto. While I saw him as a solo act, he is also well known as being in the Irish band The Frames, and as half of the folk rock group The Swell Season.

Irish tunes, both trad and otherwise, were a big motivator in my trip to Ireland back in June 2015 (along with watching P.S. I Love You on repeat), and so Glen’s performance only reinvigorated my love for that particular music culture. It seemed every night while traipsing around Ireland my friends and I found amazing pubs with homegrown singer-songwriters to enjoy.

And by the way, if you think you can go to Ireland and somehow not hear “Galway Girl” one million times, you are sadly mistaken. By the end of your trip, you will be banging your head against pub walls because of this song, thereby spilling your precious Guinness everywhere.

You can read more about some musical surprises I had in Ireland in my Finding John Denver in Galway post.

So, without much further ado, I present 15 Songs To Explore Ireland By.

Enjoy and leave your further suggestions below!

1. Glen Hansard + Eddie Vedder “Drive All Night”

2. Flogging Molly “Irish Pub Song”

3. Damien Rice “Volcano”

4. Kodaline “The One”

5. Stiff Little Fingers “Johnny Was”

6. Thin Lizzy “Cowboy Song”

7. The Cranberries “When You’re Gone”

8. Rory Gallagher “Bad Penny”

9. The Dubliners “Rocky Road To Dublin”

10. God Is An Astronaut “Post Mortem”

11. Van Morrison “Astral Weeks”

12. The Pogues “Fairytale Of New York”

13. Bing Crosby “Galway Bay”

14. Steve Earle “Galway Girl”

15. U2 “Beautiful Day”

And there you have it, folks, my 15 Songs To Explore Ireland By!

What would be on your list? Let me know in the comments!

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