Ryan Kelly’s top 5 St Patrick’s Day songs

Ryan Kelly takes time out to speak to Irish Music Daily about his top five Irish song’s for St Patrick’s Day.

Ryan Kelly's top 5 St Patrick's Day songs

5. On Raglan Road

I’ve always loved this song, taken from a poem by the great Patrick Kavanagh. I think the images the words create of this lovesick man walking the streets of Dublin, risking getting hurt to approach his young love, are so powerful. Luke Kelly immortalized the song and it was one we always were destined to have on our “Acoustically Irish” album.

4. Carrickfergus

I remember singing this song as a young child and feeling, even then, that it was the most beautiful air I’d ever heard. I suggested it to David Munro, (the Celtic Thunder Musical Director) for our “Mythology” tour and album and was delighted when he agreed and actually arranged the CT version while I was in a coma in 2012, not knowing if I’d ever sing it for him. I think my personal connection with the song feels greater now than ever before!

3. The Village That They Call ‘The Moy’

I wrote this song for my debut album, “In Time,” about my own village – where I’ve lived all my life – from the perspective of someone who has emigrated away from it, but has always missed it and plans to spend his final days there. It’s a tribute to the place I was born, and I guess I could never select five “Irish” songs without including it! 🙂

2. American Dream

This is a song I wrote last year for my “Life” album. I’ve always been fascinated with America, its culture, and people; and just thought about the number of people who have come to the country to make a life for themselves and fulfil their own, personal “American Dreams”. I know many will be celebrating how these dreams have become reality on St Patrick’s Day.

1. Back Home In Derry

This is a song I’ve sung in bars or at parties if someone thrusts a guitar in my hand and demands me to sing and it was one I just had to sing on “Acoustically Irish”! I’ve just always loved its spirit and power, even if the subject matter is dark – the singer is defiant to the end – “a rebel I came and I’ll die the same!…” Now, that’s what a rebel should sing like!! 🙂

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