Happy St. Patty’s to all my fellow Irish lads and lassies.
I’ve always said there’s a strong overlap between Irish and country music.
Fiddles, guitars, story telling songs, alcohol… I mean come on, it’s almost the exact same thing, just with some bagpipes and kilts thrown in. There’s a reason Turnpike Troubadours are opening up for Dropkick Murphys today…
So for you country loving potato eaters, let me present today’s anthem.
Steve Earle is widely regarded as one of the best songwriters the genre has ever seen. Best known for the classic “Copperhead Road,” he wrote a countless number of songs through his career that were sung by some of the most iconic artists, like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, and Emmylou Harris.
He also put out a ton of original music, releasing 22 studio albums and a whole slew of live and compilation records, including Transcendental Blues, which featured a song which should be played loud and proud today.
“Galway Girl” (not to be confused with the Ed Sheeran song) tells a semi-autobiographical story of a man falling head over heels for, and of course getting his heart broken by, a dark haired, blue eyed Irish girl, with a melody that will be stuck in your head all day (i-ay-i-ay).
“Well, I took a stroll on the old long walkOf a day -i-ay-i-ay I met a little girl and we stopped to talk Of a fine soft day -i-ay-i-ay And I ask you, friend, what’s a fella to do ‘Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue And I knew right then I’d be takin’ a whirl ‘Round the salthill prom with a Galway girl”
While Steve’s version was somewhat popular upon release, a cover by Mundy (an Irish singer-songwriter) and Sharon Shannon (could you have a more Irish name?) blew up in 2008 and became the best selling song in Ireland that year.
It’s a classic sing along that’s going to make you tap your feet, and after a few Guinness’s, get up and pretend to do the Irish jig.
Sláinte to all, behave yourselves tonight…
Josh Abbott and Shane Smith recently teamed up for a damn good version of the song too: