The 10 best Irish drinking songs of all time

Ireland is known for having great music and great alcohol, put them together, and you’ve got the ten best Irish drinking songs.

Looking some of the best Irish drinking songs, check out our list here.

Looking some of the best Irish drinking songs? Everyone knows about Irish music, whether it’s the traditional kind or the modern kind, it doesn’t matter, because Ireland has mastered both.

When it comes to alcohol, we have produced some world-famous brews such as Guinness, Kilkenny, Jameson, and Bushmills to name but few.

So, of course, when the drinks have been poured, someone is bound to put on a cracking song, or better yet, get out the bodhrán for a first-hand rendition. There are plenty of Irish drinking songs that have been around for what seems like a lifetime, and some that are not so old, but it doesn’t make a difference because Irish people are all about the ‘craic agus ceoil’.

We have narrowed it down to the ten best Irish drinking songs, let’s take a look!

10. Beer, Beer, Beer – The Clancy Brothers

Indeed this title tells us everything? What an epic song to play while you’re out having a few scoops! Am I right?

9. Bottle of Smoke – The Pogues

There’s something about this one that makes you want to stamp your feet and down your pint.

8. Seven Drunken Nights – Ronnie Drew

Here we have a song about a man who returns home, over seven nights of the week, drunk as a skunk and finds hints that his wife has been with different men. The song is like a story, and each verse is a night in question.

7. All for Me Grog – The Dubliners

Here we have a man who’s willing to sell everything he owns for drink and tobacco. It was a song popular with sailors, but sure enough, it became a hit with the Irish drinkers, many who can drink like sailors!

6. Dirty Old Town – The Pogues

Although this song was written back in 1949, it wasn’t until the Pogues released it that it became a massive hit in Ireland and all over Europe. It was written about the town of Salford in the UK and was initially written to be part of a play, but the song went on to be bigger than first imagined.

5. Whiskey in the Jar – The Dubliners

This song has been around since the ‘60s when The Dubliners first made it famous. It is a story set in the south-west of Ireland about a robbery that didn’t go to plan . Since The Dubliners, bands such as Thin Lizzy and Metallica have reinvented the song, giving it a different flavour.

Listen to them all, the choice is yours.

4. The Irish Rover – Ronnie Drew

This Irish drinking song has been recorded by many artists, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. Ronnie Drew released it in 1975. It tells a fictional story of a ship called The Irish Rover, which came to an unfortunate end. The lyrics have been changed many times during each rendition, but the song is still a favourite in many Irish pubs.

3. The Fields of Athenry – Paddy Reilly

A song written in 1979, it has become somewhat of an anthem in Ireland and abroad, with many versions being created. It tells the story of the ‘Fields of Athenry’, where rough times were had during the Great Famine, among many other places in Ireland.

It depicts a family whose lives are torn apart when the husband steals some corn for the family to survive but is arrested and sent to prison. A sad story but a catchy tune for sure!

2. I Tell Me Ma – Van Morrison and The Chieftains

Believe it or not, this started out as a well-known children’s song from the 19th century. Over the years, the music has been reinvented by various bands, including The Young Dubliners, Sinead O Connor, Ronnie Drew, and Sham Rock. The most notable version, however, is by Van Morrison and The Chieftains.

1. The Wild Rover – The Pogues

Ironically, this song is about a man battling to stay sober but has now become one of the most well-known drinking songs. We all know the ‘No, Nay, Never….No, Nay, Never, No More’ line, which is one of the best lines in a song. It really gets a crowd going.

The song goes back to the mid 19th century, but it’s a song that will continue as being a cracking Irish drinking ballad well into the future.

So there you have it, our top best Irish drinking songs. Give them a listen, you can thank us later!

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Jade Poleon is a free spirit with a love for the world and her homeland, Ireland. Jade started travelling in 2007 and since then has travelled to every continent and over 90 countries, qualified as a yoga teacher in India, hiked the Himalayas, walked 900km across Spain, and is about to embark on a trip through Portugal in her camper van. Travel is her number-one passion, and she has a soft spot for hiking, food, and jaw-dropping scenery, all of which can be found right here on our stunning Emerald Isle.