Good hand clapping lively songs.

Good hand clapping lively songs.

Sessions around here are probably split 65/35 music to song. Which I think is great. I love ballads as much as I love the tunes.
Lately however I have started to dread the old sentence "whisht now, Mary is going to sing a song", and off Mary goes sining another miserable, dreary old "we have no more potatoes" song.
And everyone that follows Mary sings another old depressing, drawn out, lament.
I mesfelf have decided to never again sing an old depressing song in these situations because there are plenty of upbeat traditional songs out there.
Thing is… I cant think of enough of them. So besides my little rant there can anyone here think of any good lively songs, I’m thinking songs in the line of "The town of Ballybay" etc. Songs that can be sang with a good solid hand clapping beat so if I’m asked to sing a song I can keep the tempo up instead of sending everyone off to sleep.

Re: Good hand clapping lively songs.

"The Road to Clady"
Robbie O’Connell’s "Keg of Brandy" (perhaps not traditional?)

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I’m sort of working with randomised mp3s playing in background and Coming back to Milltown sung by someone (don’t know who) from the Kilfenora Ceilidh band was just on - cheerful, optimistic, clappable - might fit the bill.

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Red-Haired Mary has a cracking tune, but as far as I remember the song is rather a long rambling epic with a number of fights in it. Maybe there is a concise version.

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Write one yourself.

(Did you somehow forget about Wild Rover and Whiskey in the Jar? I think these two are bog standard hand-clappers the world over.)

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Blimey, you’ver got thousands to choose from, how about:

Cunla
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
Phil the Fluter’s Ball
Tim Finnigan’s Wake
Nell Flaherty’s Drake
Paddy McGinty’s Goat

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"rather a long rambling epic with a number of fights in it" - is that about thesession.org?

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Home Boys Home [clap clap]
Ramblin’ Rover

Just go raid an old Clancy Bros. album, you’ll be set for life SS!

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I like to hear ‘Kelly,the Boy from Killane’.
There must also be some that take yr fancy from ‘Sweeneny’s Men’.

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Humours Of Whiskey
Rising Of The Moon
Rambling Rover

Some works songs, or shanteys might make it, if appropriate.

Stuff like Haul Away, Joe, Paddy Doyle’s Boots (not too slow, now), there’s lots of that around.

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Re: Good hand clapping lively songs.

Look up recordings by "The Dubliners" in the "Recordings" section - should be plenty there to go on.

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Re: Good hand clapping lively songs.

Thanks for all the suggestions lads.

No I havent forgotten the classics halfwaythere,
I used to have a set repetoir of songs like the boys of the old brigade, Whiskey in the jar, wild rover etc, but I’m trying to find less popularised ballads.
Ive tried writing songs myself but I’m utter sh1t at it. I always end up with a great song that turns out to be a classic from luke kelly or someone 🙂

SWFL Fiddler, Tommy Makem and the Clancys would be my favourite balladeers and yeah they have some crackers. Thats the kind of stuff i’m looking for. that genre if you will. Like "I wish I was a hunting", "a place in the choir" etc.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Keep em comin tho.

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Lannigan’s Ball and the Red-Haired Boy (Guilderoy).

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The Glendalough Saint

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"Mary goes sining another miserable, dreary old "we have no more potatoes" song."

Maybe I should be more sympathetic, but I laughed ‘til I cried!

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"The Boys Of Killybegs"

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Re: Good hand clapping lively songs.

When I first joined a group that played Irish music, we played instrumental stuff, and soon found that wasn’t what most people wanted, and since that included most people who might give us money in return for our services, we found ourselves learning the songs. I already knew a few myself, from hanging around the Black Rose pub in Boston. Like SWFL says, old Clancy Brothers CDs are a great resource for these tunes. There are a lot of Walton song books that give the melody and guitar chords along with the words. And there are a lot of web sites that print lyrics and guitar chords, just type "irish music lyrics" into Google and a lot appear.
Like halfwaythere says, Whiskey in the Jar and The Wild Rover are classic singalong songs. I myself like I’ll Tell Me Ma, and Wild Colonial Boy.
Some people don’t like them, but I find the ‘everyone join in’ songs to be a welcome addition to a good session, as long as they don’t take over the evening. Not every song has to be a slow one!
Enjoy!

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Shift the percentages. Just play more tunes instead. Let the others do the singing. I’m being a bit glib but seriously, think about it.

If you really wanna sing, check out some old sea shanties. "Haul Away Joe" is mighty. There are plenty of others too.

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How about "The sick note" - OK maybe its not 200 years old and not a "hand clapper" - but it should cheer everbody up - it always works for me!

Just bang the song title into utube and look for Sean Cannon of the Dubliners.

If you have’nt heard it before I defy you not to laugh out loud!

Re: Good hand clapping lively songs.

Katy Daly
Hills of Donegal
Never learned to dance

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Re: Good hand clapping lively songs.

I think a good many of the ‘classic’ Irish songs that go way back are laments of the "we have no more potatoes" type and they are a great genre in themselves - but are there not also livlier ones, maybe not hand clappers but brighter. The Coolin has lyrics I’m fairly sure, Thugamar Fein an Samhradh Linn, Casadh an tSugain. Wexford Carol is a good trad ‘hymn’ at close of year.

I think the Clancy repetoire dates from the later 1800’s and early 1900’s when ballads were in great demand with local songsters making up ditties at the drop of a hat and selling off the lyrics at fairs etc. Different era and different style of music. You can see why it appeals more nowadays to a general audience as it’s closer to the popular song culture of today. As to whether they are part of ‘Irish Traditional Music’, well that’s trickier and probably the basis for a long argument.

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Miserablist anti-songs rant…

I’M SORRY! But…Personally, despite completely understanding that it’s all part of the tradition et cetera, I find most singing (of songs!) a bit of a tedious interruption in the ‘proper’ business of playing tunes at a session. A session where the split is 35/ 65 sounds like a nightmare! One or two songs in a session seems fairly harmless. But please don’t do the whole five hundred and twenty eight verses of some incomprehensible ballad. I’ve had to feign interest, sit in bored silence and act as if I’m deriving pleasure from the over-long wailings of too many for too long. Of course it all depends on the singer and the song, but even the celebrated, skilled and well-respected can be inappropriate and dreary…when the singer is lacking character, talent and VOLUME it’s a million times worse. At my local session if there is a request for a bit of hush and it someone looks like doing a song, I rapidly head for a fag, count my hotwiter bottles, sniff the wig glue, visit the bog or the other bar and tune up & polish my bugle!

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That’s one nice thing about being here in America, nobody knows or sings any of those 40 verse dirges. We get a quick song and then I move along to tunes stat. You have to. They’ll breed like rabbits. Someone sings a song and every goon in the joint thinks it’s their turn. "Oh boy, singing time? I’ll sing one too!" "The hell you will…"

Seems kind of rude too. You have all these folks sitting there with their instruments in their laps, waiting to play, being forced to listen to song after song.

To each session their own though, they’re all different and based on what the folks there want.

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Last weekend in a pub in a remote part of the Highlands, we were playing some tunes. This fella, a student at an English university, came up to us and asked, "Do you sing at all?"

"No," we said.

"Okay, then," he answered. And immediately launched into a pained version of "The Parting Glass." Luckily no one else got the idea and he returned to his mates where they resumed discussing Decartes and playing cards.

Later in the week, in a different pub and a different remote part of the Highlands, myself and my mate (not a musician) were having a pint and all these people showed up with guitars, music, a bouzouki, and some whistles. I said I played the pipes and they thought that was brilliant (hah! having not yet heard me play) and asked me to join them. They sang their songs, reading sheet music and lyric sheets, and I played the odd set of tunes when asked. That normally wouldn’t be the thing I’d go for but it was their gig. Also it so happened that one of the singers/guitarists was the pub owner, another his wife, and a third a member of the local Mountain Rescue team, who was offering us advice about the mountain we were planning on climbing (and we were also camping on a wee grassy patch outside of the Mountain Rescue hut). Point being, sometimes it’s better to suck it up and make friends than be a tune snob. 🙂

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Ye miserable bunch of breeze-blocks, the lot of ye. A decent song can make your heart soar into the night… the trouble is it has to be decent I suppose.

As far a cheerful songs go "Juice of the Barley" is a good one that raises a smile.

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Really? The lot of us? Wow.

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Only jesting of course SWFL … (ye misery). ;)

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I’m trying to work on my "miserable git" reputation. 🙂 Every session needs at least one.

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I just play one on the internet, I’m really a nice guy. 😛

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All I can say lads is you’ve been listening to the wrong singers.
Seriously, I guess I’m lucky but the songs are a strong part of the tradition around here.
The problem is when a session is turned into a free for all sing song. This is where the songs stop being stories and feelings expressed through melody and turn into pointless warbling of a collection of words.
I remember one particular session where a local man (who truth be told was not a great singer by any means) sang a lament and literally reduced people to tears (and no SWFL, not those kind of tears 🙂 )
A good song, sung with feeling and most of all, understanding, can add a fantastic element to any session. … so there. 🙂

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i’m sort off getting a band together and want to play some lively tunes to get the crowd going any one any suggestions?

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Old topic, but ‘Maid Behind The Bar’ and ‘My Love Is In America’ were always my two favourites.

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