5 Irish Christmas Songs to Listen to
By Melissa Ward
Bells Over Belfast
Written by Northern Irish/Canadian Singer-Songwriter George Millar (Co-Founder of the Irish Rovers) in 1999.
Christmas the Way I Remember
Lyrics written by The High Kings in 2019
The High Kings released this song in 2019 and dedicated it to everyone, everywhere who is going back home for Christmas to be with the ones they love. It's set to the melody of "Loch Lomond," a traditional Scottish Folk song. The famous "Red is the Rose" is also sung to the same tune as the traditional Scottish folk song.
The Wexford Carol
Origin unknown; first widely published in 1928
Also known as "The Enniscorthy Carol" this traditional Irish Christmas carol was originally collected by Grattan Flood in 1928 in Enniscorthy, a small town in County Wexford, Ireland. It is said he transcribed the song from a local singer. The carol itself dates back hundreds of years ago, some say the 1600s, and it is likely the lyrics were matched to the tune later on. The version below is from Irish singer Cara Dillon.
The Holly Tree
Arranged and Adapted by The Clancy Brothers; released in 1969
This holiday song was featured on their 1969 album The Clancy Brothers Christmas. The album featured 11 holiday songs, including their popular original, "The Wren Song," which is about the St. Stephen's Day tradition in Ireland.
The December Letter
Written by Andrew Meaney, 2018
This original song performed by Aoife Scott features an array of talent, including Ron Block, Bill Shanley, Fergal Scahill and Andrew Meaney. The song describes a loved one who cannot be home for Christmas and was inspired by Meaney's own experience of his sister being away for Christmas. It's a heart lifting sentiment sent out to all who have emigrated from Ireland, delivering memories with the binding warmth of a real Irish Christmas.