Saturday Jams: Shenanigans from the Emerald Isle

A while back, Rob was bitten; not by a radioactive spider but by an idea to post a weekly article about a few songs that he really likes. There are so many possibilities that the series could go on forever, and so Saturday Jams was born.

This week on Saturday Jams I was inspired by blog buddy Her Broken Nibs‘ recent post “Sassy Jabber“, which mentioned kissing the Blarney Stone. I decided that today I would talk about a few of my favorite Irish groups that play Irish music! If you’re still a little wet behind the ears on this particular class of music, i.e. a little “green”, then why don’t we just jump right in?

Flogging Molly performing live at the Rock Wer...
Flogging Molly performing live at the Rock Werchter 2005 festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first moved to Bismarck in 2008 I had my first exposure to modern Irish music through the lady that is now my wife. She introduced me to Flogging Molly, whom I think she discovered while going to school in Seattle. They have a wonderful sound redolent of Irish tradition, powered by not just guitars, but traditional instruments, including a fiddle, frame drum,and  accordion.

In the video for the titular track of Drunken Lullabies, we get to see how fun they are via their action cam views from the deck of a skateboard, and the skater dodging all the obstacles life can throw in his way:

In float, we get a more somber look at the passage of time and the often fruitless feelings involved via both stop animation and time-lapse videography:

Dropkick Murphys at the 2011 Cisco Ottawa Blue...
Dropkick Murphys at the 2011 Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest. By: Brennan Schnell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I had heard of Dropkick Murphys before, but had never looked into the music until I heard it in a Pandora station I’d started based on Flogging Molly. What Flogging Molly does with careful skill, Dropkick Murphys does with serious aggression. The lyrics are hollered and/or bellowed into the mic, the music hits you like a brick in the face, and all you want to do is party. As you see in the following videos, they like to put up a tough sort of image, and they excel. While as more of a Celtic Punk style it’s a shade different from Flogging Molly, this is nonetheless great stuff:

Here’s a band I discovered just an hour ago, via Pandora as I was driving home from donating plasma. According to Wikipedia, the Tossers actually predate both Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys. So why hadn’t I heard of them before? I don’t know, maybe it’s not your average American music genre? That’s why we have to go out and find them, and that’s why I love love love to bring them to you!

I could tell you about a few other bands, but the videos can be hard to find – the Pogues are a great example of this. And a caveat on these bands, as on others who play within a style: they may or may not be Irish, and the band may or may not have been formed in Ireland. Dropkick Murphys started in Massachusetts, the Tossers are from Chicago. It’s not about who or what you are, it’s about the music you play, so if you even thought about nitpicking you can either sit back and enjoy the Jams or cram it up your arse!

Enjoy your weekend!




  1. thanks for the nod – glad it inspired you to get into the Irish/Celtic groove today 🙂

    Nothing like the Pogues for an all-out happy/crazy time. And these are “new to me(s) are definitely worth a closer look! thanks 🙂

      • lol … well …. you may not get as many hits as you’d like …. but you should do it if it makes you happy. Besides …. you may be making someone’s day even though you don’t even really know they are there – those silent visitors. Passion is passion … and that’s what counts.

      • Who me?? lol JMS and I are providing views from the North and the Sount lol ! I’d forgotten all about Planxty, the Raggle Taggle Gypsy is a great wee song. 3 of my favourites, with songs to listen to. The Undertones – My Perfect Cousin, The Horslips – March into Trouble / Trouble with a Capital T and the lovely Enya – Storms in Africa II. And here’s one just for fun you should listen to Farmer Dan – Horse it inta Ya! (Thanks JMS for the reminder about Planxty 🙂 )

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