9 Irish Songs for St. Patrick's Day to Enliven Your Celebration

woman in white dress holding four leaf clover
Photo: Getty Images

Belt out these traditional Irish songs for a delightfully spirited St. Patrick's Day celebration. Get ready to sing these nine St. Patrick's Day songs by dressing the part (you have to wear green on the holiday, of course), then let the singing begin!

01 of 09

Danny Boy

male dressed as leprechaun inside giant red wheel

Danny Boy, a ballad set to a traditional Irish tune, is one of the most popular songs for St. Patrick’s Day. It was written in 1910 and is considered the national anthem of Northern Ireland.

Danny Boy Lyrics:

O Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The summer's gone and all the roses falling
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or all the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
O Danny boy, O Danny boy, I love you so

When winter's come and all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me

But I shall hear though soft you tread above me
And all my grave shall warmer, sweeter be
And you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me

02 of 09

I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover

woman in white dress holding four leaf clover
Getty Images

This song dates back to 1927 and was written about the lucky symbol of the four-leaf clover. We think it's one of the best St. Patrick's Day songs. Check out these fun facts about four-leaf clovers to learn more.

I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover Lyrics:

I'm looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before
One is for sunshine, the second is rain
Third are the roses that grow in the lane
No need explaining, the one remaining
Is somebody I adore
I'm looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before

03 of 09

Irish Lullaby

young smiling girl holding diy beard on stick

The second verse of Irish Lullaby is simple and an easy St. Patrick's Day song for preschoolers and kids to learn. Sing it before your St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Irish Lullaby Lyrics:

Hush now, don't you cry
That's an Irish lullaby

Over in Killarney, many years ago
My mother sang a song to me in tones so soft and low
Just a simple little ditty in her good old Irish way
And I'd give the world if I could hear that song of hers today

Hush now, don't you cry
That's an Irish lullaby

04 of 09

Galway Bay

bagpipes player in parade wearing kilt

Galway Bay is off the west coast of Ireland and has numerous pop culture references, including Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl and this timeless classic about the beauty of the Irish landscape. We're sharing the lyrics to the classic Galway Bay song right here. Are you feeling connected to your Irish roots yet?

Galway Bay Lyrics:

If you ever go across the sea to Ireland
Then maybe at the closing of your day
You will sit and watch the moonrise over Claddagh
And watch the barefoot gossoons at their play
Just to hear again the ripple of the trout stream
The women in the meadows making hay
And to sit beside a turf fire in the cabin
And see the sun go down on Galway Bay

For the breezes blowing o'er the seas from Ireland
Are perfumed by the heather as they blow
And the women in the uplands diggin' praties
Speak a language that the strangers do not know
For the strangers came and tried to teach us their way
They scorned us just for being what we are

But they might as well go chasing after moonbeams
Or light a penny candle from a star
And if there is going to be a life hereafter
And faith I'm sure there's going to be
I will ask my God to let me make my heaven
In that dear land across the Irish sea

05 of 09

A Great Day for the Irish

marching band basedrum player in band uniform

This is an Irish-American song that was popularized when Judy Garland sang it on her European tour. It's become a must-have song at St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

A Great Day for the Irish Lyrics:

It's a Great Day for the Irish,
It's a great day for the fair!
The sidewalks of New York are thick with blarney,
For sure you'd think of New York was ol' Killarney!

It's a great day for the shamrock,
For the flags in full array.
We're feeling so inspirish,
Sure because for all the Irish,
It's a Great, Great, DAY!

06 of 09

A Little Bit of Heaven

young girl with green st patricks hat and beads

This song tells the mythical story of how Ireland came to be, which makes it a perfect tune to sing when celebrating St. Patrick's Day. As you can tell from the song's title, it's said that Ireland was made from a piece of heaven that fell from the sky.

A Little Bit of Heaven Lyrics:

Sure a little bit of heaven fell
From out the sky one day,
And it nestled in the ocean
In a spot so far away
And when the angels found it
Sure it looked so sweet and fair
They said, "Suppose we leave it,
For it looks so peaceful there."
So they sprinkled it with stardust
Just to make the shamrocks grow,
It's the only place you'll find them,
No matter where you go,
Then they dotted it with silver
To make its lakes so grand,
And when they had it finished,
Sure, they called it Ireland.

07 of 09

My Wild Irish Rose

smiling woman wearing green hat and boa outdoors
Bob Stefko

This song was written by Chauncey Olcott, the same author of "When Irish Eyes are Smiling." It was inspired by a family story set in Olcott's mother's hometown in Ireland.

My Wild Irish Rose Lyrics:

If you'll listen, I'll sing you a sweet little song,
Of a flower that's now drooped and dead,
Yet dearer to me, yes, than all of its mates,
Tho' each holds aloft its proud head.

'Twas given to me by a girl that I know,
Since we've met, faith, I've known no repose,
She is dearer by far than the world's brightest star,
And I call her my wild Irish Rose

My wild Irish Rose,
The sweetest flow'r that grows,
You may search ev'rywhere,
But none can compare
With my wild Irish Rose.

My wild Irish Rose,
The dearest flow'r that grows,
And some day for my sake,
She may let me take
The bloom from my wild Irish Rose.

They may sing of their roses which, by other names,
Would smell just as sweetly, they say,
But I know that my Rose would never consent
To have that sweet name taken away.

Her glances are shy when e'er I pass by
The bower, where my true love grows;
And my one wish has been that some day I may win
The heart of my wild Irish Rose.

08 of 09

Peg o' My Heart

smiling woman wearing green hat and beads in blue jacket

Peg o' My Heart was written in 1912 by Alfred Bryan and was based on a musical comedy by the same name. While it was first performed in New York City, the song has long been associated with St. Patrick's Day because of the Irish connections in the musical.

Peg o' My Heart Lyrics:

Peg O' My Heart,
I love you,
We'll never part,
I love you, hear little girl,
Sweet little girl,
Sweeter than the rose of Erin, are your winning smiles endearin',
Peg O' My Heart,
Your glances with Irish art entrance us,
Come, be my own,
Come, make your home in my heart.

09 of 09

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

hand with red nails holding four leaf clover
Alexandra Pavlova/Getty Images

This lighthearted tune was popularized after President Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sang this song together after a meeting held on St. Patrick's Day in 1985.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling Lyrics

There's a tear in your eye
And I'm wondering why
For it never should be there at all
With such pow'r in your smile
Sure a stone you'd beguile
So there's never a teardrop should fall

When your sweet lilting laughter's
Like some fairy song
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile
And now, smile a smile for me

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, they steal your heart away

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