Irish College, or ‘The Gaeltacht’ as it’s known to most, is a right of passage for many young people. With the craic comes the ceol (music), leaving memories that last forever.
The Gaeltacht is a defining moment in the lives of many young Irish people.
From getting the shift from your one true Irish College love to making lifelong friendships, there’s a lot to be said for spending three weeks fully immersed in the Irish language and culture.
Flocks of teenagers attend Coláistes across the country every year to spend a month away from their parents and have fun with friends.
Irish College is renowned for its discos and céilís, meaning we all came away with songs that remind us of that glorious time.
Continue reading and remember the songs everyone who went to Irish College will know.
5. Amhrán na bhFiann – The Soldier’s Song
Did you even go to the Gaeltacht if you didn’t belt out the Irish national anthem at the end of every céilí?
‘Amhrán na bhFiann’, known as ‘The Soldier’s Song’ in English, was initially composed in 1909 or 1910 by Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney.
Irish College students will know it’s an absolute belter of a song, particularly the last line, which is generally screamed out with the most incredible enthusiasm.
Students tend to sway with their arms wrapped around each other for this one, in a pretend drunken simulation.
4. A Mhuire Mháithair – is there anything to be said for another aifreann?
Ah, aifreann, or as non-Irish speakers call it, mass. Mass was always a big part of the week in Irish College.
Many rascals would try to weasel their way out of enduring sitting in the chapel. Still, those who endured the weekly mass went through rigorous hymn singing as Gaeilge.
‘A Mhuire Mháithair’ was one of the champion hymns. This is one of the songs everyone who went to Irish college will know.
That being said, this is just one of the many Irish language hymns in our toolkit after the Gaeltacht. Still, we can’t make this list all hymns, can we?
3. Léim Thart – Jump Around
Most people will know the song ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain. However, Des Bishop’s ‘Léim Thart’ is one of the songs everyone who went to Irish college will know.
The Irish-American comedian recorded this instant classic after gaining Irish language fluency for his show In the Name of the Fada.
We’re so glad he did. Teenagers would go wild at the Gaeltacht disco when this bop came on.
Students made dance routines, and dance-offs were encouraged, all to the merry beat of this glorious Irish language song.
2. Avicii Vs Lurgan – Wake Me Up as Gaeilge
This one was an instant Gaeltacht classic when it came out.
The bilingual band Seo Linn teamed up with Coláiste Lurgan to create this fantastic Irish language version of the Avicii hit ‘Wake Me Up’.
It’s a treat for the ears and an instant favourite for anyone who hears it. The members of Seo Linn are extra cool, as they met each other as teenagers during their time in Coláiste Lurgan.
Amazing to think they now create songs everyone who went to Irish College will know. What an inspiring group of lads.
1. An Dreolín – the most iconic Gaeltacht song
This is the most memorable Irish College song there is. Sean Monaghan composed this song about an imagined situation of his cat killing a wren and getting blood on his snout.
The song is so catchy that people don’t even mind its dark themes. It’s gained great success in Gaeltachts over the years, with Coláistes turning it into a Macarena-style dance routine.
It’s a seriously infectious tune that will get people up and having the craic instantly. No Irish College night is complete without a good old blast of An Dreolín.
If you went to Irish College and didn’t dance to this song at least once, we advise you to try to get your money back, as you’ve been ripped off.