We’ve got ballads, hymns, and catchy anthems. It’s time to revisit your childhood with the top ten songs you learned if you went to school in Ireland.
Inside the walls of every Irish primary school is a teacher with a song or two up their sleeve.
When we were young, the songs we learned ranged from themes of Irish storytelling to religious tunes and campfire classics.
We present the ultimate nostalgic playlist as we count down the top ten songs you learned at school in Ireland.
10. I’ll Tell Me Ma – an easy one to start us off
Chances are you sang that title in your head instead of saying it because it’s just that catchy!
This well-known children’s song, also known as ‘The Belle of Belfast City’, takes us right back to our days as Junior Infants.
The song has a simple tune that’s easy to learn if you’re a beginner when it comes to Irish music.
9. The Fields of Athenry – a timeless classic
The people of Galway hold this song closely to their hearts. It tells the sad and moving story of a man who is sent away on a prison ship for stealing some corn.
Like many Irish songs, it can be sung slowly and sadly or belted out with joy and passion. The latter applies to primary school children, of course!
8. There’s a hole in my bucket – everyone’s favourite duet
The repetitive nature of this song allowed us to become experts at singing in primary school.
‘There’s a hole in my bucket’ reveals a duet between two characters, Liza and Henry, as they discuss how best to fix the hole in Henry’s bucket.
Liza had some wacky suggestions to keep us entertained.
7. Turn Turn Turn! – the international hit
This 1960s hit by American folk group The Byrds remains to be one of the catchiest songs we learned in school.
The warm melody always brought a smile to our faces. Fair play if you ever managed to hit those high notes.
6. Ireland’s Call – the Irish rugby song
Fun fact: ‘Ireland’s Call’ was written by Phil Coulter, the Irish singer-songwriter who also wrote music for Luke Kelly and The Dubliners.
‘Ireland’s Call’ was a joy to sing at the top of our voices in primary school. Can you remember all the words?
5. The Rattling Bog – the song that feels like running a marathon
Every Irish person has a friend whose party piece it is to sing every single verse of ‘The Rattling Bog’, one by one.
This charming song requires a strong set of lungs and a sharp memory, where each verse is longer than the last.
4. Ripples in the Rock Pools – one of the top ten songs you learned if you went to school in Ireland
‘Ripples in the Rock Pools’ is the type of song that pops into your head once every ten years.
It will keep you awake at night and distract you from work with its catchiness. Only the coolest of teachers taught this song to the children of Ireland.
3. Molly Malone – a Dublin song
This song tells the fictional tale of a fishwife trading on the streets of Dublin.
This is probably one of the songs you learned if you went to school in Ireland. It is also popular amongst tourists who admire the Dublin statue of Molly Malone.
2. Lord of the Dance – one of the songs you learned if you went to school in Ireland
Commonly sang in church or at school, ‘Lord of the Dance’ captures the atmosphere of any old classroom in Ireland.
Imagine this: the sun pours in through the window as you sing a happy song that will stay with you forever.
1. Circle of Friends – a religious education song for children
Regardless of how you identify religiously, let’s all agree that the entire Alive-O collection could have featured on our list of the top ten songs you learned if you went to school in Ireland.
‘Circle of Friends’ earns the number one spot as the earworm that has stuck with us all these years. See more of the top Irish songs you learned at school.