Traditional Songs from Co. Mayo

Irish traditional music has a rich variety of songs, most of them are sung in Irish , others in English or in both languages.

The songs in the Irish language, known as "sean-nòs" or old style, include lay and lyric songs, love songs, the aisling and Jacobite songs.

The songs in the English languages historically are ballads and their subjects are all aspects of culture and the human condition: love, war, hope, nostalgia, famine, emigration, social conditions and local events. Their forms include lament, exhortation, humour, satire and journalistic rigour, but all of them have a style of singing based in and shared with the Irish-language performance style.

The Mayo poet Riocard Bairead (1740-1819) wrote a mock lament about a bailiff Eoghan Coir that is still sung and represents a good example of satire. The songs in mixed language are basically macaronic (in both Irish and English) and "hedge-schoolmaster" (in Hiberno-English).

Mayo is the inspiration for many songs, some of which are listed here. This is a collection made from suggestions on our Facebook page, if you know of any more then let us know the song and singer!

Admiral William Browne - The Wolfe Tones All the way Home to Mayo - Doc Carroll

Banks of the Moy - Seamus O'Duffy

The Coastline of Mayo

Clare Island - Saw Doctors

Clare Morris - John Duggan

Farewell Mayo - Eamon Friel

Fields of Erris - Michael Togher

Green and Red of Mayo - The Saw Doctors

Homeplace in Mayo - Phil Mack

Kilkelly Ireland - Sean Keane

The Knock Song - Christy Moore

Lovely Achill Island - James Kilbane

Lovely Westport - Lennie Grimes

Memories of Mayo - John Kelly

Moonlight in Mayo

My Old Home In Mayo - Mick Flavin

Take Me Back to Castlebar - Michael Bracken

Take Me Home To Mayo (The Ballad of Michael Gaughan) - Mick Flavin

The Boys from the County Mayo

Tim Máirtin Jack

The County of Mayo - Mick Flavin

The Grand Old River Moy - John Kelly

The Lassies from Belmullet - John Kelly

The Mayo Rover - Seamus Moore

The Winding Road to Kiltimagh - Brendan Shine

Three pubs in Bohola

Gunnar Stahl enjoyed his stay in Tooreen so much that he wrote a song. We haven't head it sung but you can check it out on the Tooreen website.

John Kelly - The Man from Knock - sings a number of these songs on his CDs.