10 Irish Party Songs

Celtic-minded carousers will not want to miss the following 10 Irish party songs at their next shindig.

  1. "Seven Deadly Sins" is a ditty that justifies every vice the traditional Irish drunk loves. “Some say that swearin's a sin,” says one line, “But where is the man that can tell?” According to the singer, swearing has been in the world, “Since the Devil was told go to hell.” The humor and fast-paced melody in this tune make it one of the best Irish party songs of all time.
  2. Another Irish party song that deserves a place at every party is "Reilly’s Daughter." This comic tune is faster paced than "Seven Deadly Sins" and is twice as funny. It tells the story of a shotgun wedding in true Irish fashion. "Reilly’s Daughter" is particularly good for parties because everyone can clap along during the chorus.
  3. "Pub with No Beer" is one of the most popular Irish drinking songs in America. The song, which declares that standing in a pub with no beer is even sadder than being away from one’s relatives, was popularized in America by County Singer Dusty Slim.
  4. Perhaps the funniest of the Irish party songs is a tune called “The Old Woman from Wexford.” This is a fast-paced ditty that will have carousers stomping their feet. The lyrics are cleverly crafted and the chorus repeats so often that anyone will have an easy time joining in on the “foll diddy foll dearos.”
  5. Another Irish party song that is easy for anyone to join in on is “All for me Grog.” "All for me Grog" is a boisterous drinking song in which the singer declares that he has lost everything from his shoes to his bed because of his love of beer and tobacco. Although the lyrics would be depressing in any serious context, the lively and jovial tune is hard not to dance to.
  6. "The Wild Rover" is one of the most famous Irish drinking songs ever composed, but some claim that it was first published as a temperance song.  Nevertheless, it has become a favorite in Irish pubs and well-known Irish folk groups such as The Dubliners have covered it. It tells the tale of a reformed “The Wild Rover” who becomes rich and is determined never to waste all his money on whiskey and beer again. Ironically, it has become a popular drinking song.
  7. "Whiskey in the Jar" is a great song to stomp and clap to. Although it has a traditional flavor, it was made famous in non-Irish circles by the rock band Metallica. "Whiskey in the Jar" is particularly good for parties, because it contains a sing-a-long chorus. Everyone can join in on “Mush-Sha-Rig-Am-Duram-Da!”
  8. Although many Irish party songs center around the singer’s love of strong drink, "Johnny Jump Up" is about the singer’s loathing of a particular hard cider. “The cider is so strong it makes the singer hit a police officer, sends his friend to a madhouse and keeps a dead man from going to heaven." "Johnny Jump Up" is best when a large group joins in on singing the chorus.
  9. "Little Brown Jug" has some of the most entertaining sing-a-long lyrics of any Irish party song. The best of these is the line that says, “And when I die don't bury me at all, just pickle my bones in alcohol.” Most people cannot pull these off with a straight face and the song is sure to make the mood of any partier instantly merrier.
  10. No Irish party would be complete without the famous "Finnegan’s Wake," which celebrates Irish drinking, death and dancing all in one song. Although the song is about a funeral, it is sure to get party-goers off their seats and onto their feet. Indeed, when played correctly, it will make any party as merry as an Irish wake.
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