Fancy belting out a ballad for St. Patrick’s Day? We have you covered, with the chords and music for two of the most famous Irish songs in the world, from the volume Best-Loved Irish Ballads (The O’Brien Press).
In this collection of songs, Emma Byrne and Eoin O’Brien discover melodies that have been passed down for generations. With some having several different versions, the origins of many of the ballads are unclear, lost in the passage of time and the wandering of feet. Many were written in the nineteenth century, but some of them go back several hundred years.
Illustrated with evocative photographs and beautiful woodcuts from the original ballad broadsheets, the book includes Danny Boy, Boulavogue, Follow Me Up to Carlow, The Mountains of Mourne, The Rose of Tralee, Lanigan’s Ball, Are Ye Right There Michael?, Finnegan’s Wake, I’ll Tell Me Ma, The Irish Rover, The Waxies’ Dargle, Kevin Barry and many more.
Emma Byrne is an artist and designer living in a cottage in rural County Wexford. She grew up listening to the songs in this book.
Eoin O’Brien is a songwriter and musician, a writer and illustrator. He enjoys nothing more than a good old singsong around a kitchen table or a bonfire. He lives with his fantastic wife, two beautiful children and a dog, in historic Glasnevin in north Dublin.
You’re left with no excuses now – the sheet music is below, so why not get out your guitar or whistle? You can play along with Eoin, whose recordings are below.
Best-Loved Irish Ballads is available here.