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Top 5 Irish Bands

Updated on March 6, 2013
Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Music touches my soul, when I am not singing, dancing or playing an instrument, I am writing articles about the songs that I hold dear.

U2 performing at Madison Square Garden, NYC, 2005
U2 performing at Madison Square Garden, NYC, 2005 | Source

For a small country, barely the size of West Virginia, Ireland has produced a remarkable number of talented, internationally successful bands. This is mainly due to Ireland’s rich musical heritage. No matter which Irish town you may happen to visit, from the largest cities like Dublin and Galway, to smaller towns like Miltown Malbay and Dingle, you will discover two things, first, there are a large number of pubs and second, many of them have live music. While this may not be the most surprising thing, what is surprising is that the musicians and singers are not only professionals, but everyday folks, everyone it seems is in on the action. Many of these everyday folks not only play guitar and sing, but also play traditional Irish instruments and know how to dance a jig or two. Everyone in Ireland has an interest in and love for music it seems!

The cultural heritage of music and dance goes back centuries, long before the advent of television and radio, when Irish people of all ages would gather at the pub to socialize and relax, and in many ways this culture still lives on. It is no accident then that this tiny Island has produced a proportionately large number of successful artists who inject the tradition of Irish heart and soul into their art.

The following are just a few Irish Bands that are worth taking a look at.


Here is a band that literally began in an Irish Kitchen in Dublin, when four teenagers got together and learned the musical ropes as they went along. U2 has gone on to enjoy worldwide fame with a long list of successful albums, innumerable number one hits, and a reputation as dynamic and inspirational performers. All the while keeping a relatively low profile. The music of U2 has morphed over time, beginning as a post punk style band and moving on to more more mainstream rock and roll and ballads, with many variations along the way.

The Cranberries

Originating in Limerick, this alternative rock band was formed in 1989 and has left its impression on the world with seven albums, their latest album entitled “Roses” was released in February, 2012 . With an alternative style and a lead singer who draws you in with her distinctive vocals, this band has rightfully earned its place on this list.

The Corrs

Music certainly runs in the family for this home grown Irish band, which combines both a pop rock and a traditional Celtic folk sound. Having been raised in the city of Dunkirk by musical parents, one brother, along with three sisters combine their musical talents, not to mention good looks, to the added delight of fans, with their Irish infused pop sound.

The Pogues

The Pogues are an Irish band that uses traditional instruments such as the tin whistle, cittern, mandolin and accordion to create a distinctive Celtic punk sound. The band, known for singing politically inspired music, was formed in London. The group’s name derives from the Irish words “póg mo thóin” which translated means “kiss my arse.”

The Saw Doctors

Here is another band with a strong Irish flavor, infusing the rock and roll genre with a unique sound of its own. The vocals, sung by Leon Moran, paint a picture of Ireland’s physical beauty while at the same time, inviting the listener to join in his Irish memories, love and dreams with songs like “Take me To Clare Island” and also “N17,” which is about a road in Ireland. Once you are bitten by the catchy melodies and choruses of the Saw Doctors, you will likely find yourself coming back for more.

All of these bands manage to meld their rich Irish musical heritage, give it a modern twist and present it on an international stage with an tremendous amount of heart and soul.

The Corrs, 2006
The Corrs, 2006 | Source

© Copyright 2013 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.

Which one of these bands is your favorite?

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    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Mike -

      I did leave the Dubliners out, I of course considered including them but the other bands that I featured had more of a popular sound and I didn't feel the Dubliners fit in with their classic sound and lyrics. Thanks for stopping by!



    • MikeSyrSutton profile image

      MikeSyrSutton 4 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

      Wow! You left The Dubliners out?

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Hi Agusfanani,

      The Corrs and The Saw Doctors each offer their own unique twist on the Irish music sound. I am thrilled that you enjoyed the hub and the music as well!



    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      Although my favorite is the Corrs, but I've realized that the Saw Doctors is the most popular of all. Thank you for sharing this hub which makes get more knowledge about Irish Bands.

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA

      DDE - I am so glad that you learned something about these Irish Bands and thank you for the compliment!

      Best, Tracy

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Corrs, Cranberries and U2 are my best choices here incredible write up about the Top Irish Bands. I had no idea they were Irish learned more about the good singers.