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15 Irish Songs You Need On Your Bank Holiday Weekend Playlist

15 Irish Songs You Need On Your Bank Holiday Weekend Playlist
Sean Meehan
By Sean Meehan
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Although it may not feel like it, but we're currently in the midst of a bank holiday weekend.

Not only do we get one extra day to remain socially distant and virally conscious, but apparently, it's going to be an absolute scorcher.

A bank holiday weekend engulfed in the sun is what dreams are made of, and though we can't partake in the norm of beer gardens and barbecues heaving with people, we can indulge in some form of normalcy.

Often, the key to a good time lies in the playlist you choose. You need something accessible, of course, but with the right vibe in order to capture the mood of the eve.

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of 15 songs which suits the 'bank holiday' perspective. Some songs are drenched in summer sounds, some are sing-along anthems, and some are just solid gold hits. However, the one thing they have in common is that they're all Irish.

Bagatelle - Summer In Dublin

Rightfully lauded as one of the greatest Irish songs ever, 'Summer In Dublin' is synonymous with Bagatelle. The simplistic piano line is punctuated by Liam Reilly's lyrics of a summer excursion through the capital.


It's a beautifully crafted tale, although not necessarily an ode to Dublin, with the Liffey especially being called out for its odious olfactory state. Either way, when the song's crescendo hits, you can't help but sing along.

A House - Here Come The Good Times

We're going to plump for the A House original, rather than the re-up cover version chosen to soundtrack Ireland's 2002 World Cup campaign (more on that later).


A euphoric anthem which is earmarked with a scoop of irony, not least because A House disbanded shortly after the song's release. Also, it may be a bit disconcerting to sing about the "good times" amidst a global pandemic, but don't let that deter you.

The Corrs - Summer Sunshine

Although not an article in Bunreacht na hEireann, there is a directive which we live by that states that no essential Irish playlist is complete without one song from The Corrs.


The opening guitar riff sounds like One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful', which may mean that Harry Styles and co. idolise the Corr family like the rest of us. 'Summer Sunshine' is fitting for a summer bank holiday weekend, but may we also disclose that it contains the greatest chorus in any song performed by The Corrs.

The Coronas - San Diego Song

For all of the students that were meant to go on a J1 this summer, may we pour a Four Loko onto the path for you.


The quintessential J1 anthem, the chorus of  'San Diego Song' should epitomise a normal bank holiday weekend - sleeping, drinking and going out. We suppose, as Meat Loaf always said, two out of three ain't bad.

Brame & Hamo - Roy Keane

We told you we'd get back to 2002.


Now, this is a departure from the rest of the songs on this list, but it's an ultimate groover. A creation borne out of Sligo via Berlin, 'Roy Keane' is the epitome of anthemic filth. We wonder if the big man himself is a fan...

The Cranberries - Dreams

It's hard to believe that 'Dreams' was the debut single from The Cranberries, with the Limerick band bursting into the public sphere with assuredness of veterans. They just knew they had it.


'Dreams' is a perfect title for the lucidity of the track, which showcases the haunting vocals of Dolores O'Riordan at their absolute best. Dream pop at its finest.

Republic of Loose - You Know It


You could place any of the Republic of Loose's tracks on this list and they'd suit the mood fine. If you want funk, the Loose deliver in spades.

The grooving bassline seems ceaseless as it guides you through the track. You combine that with sweet and simple guitar and keyboard sounds, plus you throw Mik Pyro's gruff and gritty vocals in the mix too. Well, you've got yourself a party.

Mango X MathMan - Any Other Place (ft. Adam Collins)

The most modern tune on the list, 'Any Other Place' is absolutely perfect for bank holiday messing.

It almost acts as a current spin on Bagatelle's 'Summer In Dublin', only with more tops-off drinking and chirpsing after girls. Also, Adam Collins' opening salvo in the chorus of "Dublin City in the summer" will be stuck in your head from first listen.

Pugwash - The Perfect Summer

There's nothing quite like power pop on a warm summer afternoon, it invokes nostalgia at every turn.

That nostalgia is ramped up through the lyrics of past summers, it makes you want to descend onto the nearest patch of grass with two jumpers for a game of World Cup.

The Thrills - Big Sur

If 'San Diego Song' is considered the J1 anthem, The Thrills are the band of the J1.

They might be the result of working the beaches of SoCal and listening to far too much surf rock, but tell us The Thrills don't create summer anthems for the ages. Feasibly, we could've plumped for any song in their discography, so we've gone for perhaps their biggest hit.

Picturehouse - Sunburst

It seems like the late 1990s was a golden era for sun-spattered alternative rock, and Picturehouse achieved that sound with 'Sunburst'.

It was the most played song on Irish radio in 1998, and it's not hard to see why. It's a shimmering power pop rock anthem, full of sing-along moments and a gorgeous guitar riff to boot.

The Undertones - Here Comes The Summer

There's nothing that needs to be said about this song, even the title is a dead giveaway.

Another song that basks in the nostalgia of summer, the sub-two minute song comes and goes with an immediate groove. It sits comfortably amongst the greatest songs in The Undertones' discography.

Samantha Mumba - Gotta Tell You


Are you sitting down? Are you sure? Park yourself and let me tell you something harrowing. 'Gotta Tell You' is 20 years old.

That's right, Samantha Mumba's debut single is a score old, but it still holds up to this day. 'Gotta Tell You' sounded like nothing that had ever come out of Ireland before in 2000, and it's still an otherworldly pop banger. Throw this on at the four-man BBQ and watch the reactions.

Hothouse Flowers - Don't Go

There's something about the interval in the Eurovision Song Contest which holds cultural significance. Before Riverdance in 1994, Hothouse Flowers' 'Don't Go' was played in 1988 and immediately propelled the band to fame.

The song is drenched in summer sights, sounds and scents. Freshly cut grass, sand castles, dipping your toes in the sea, what more could you want?

Rusangano Family - Kierkegaard

'Kierkegaard' is one of the finest cuts from Rusangano Family's timeless 2016 album Let The Dead Bury The Dead.

The jangling guitar sounds and smashing drums give Rusangano's emcees, MuRli and God Knows, scope to spitting ribbons around the beat. However, when the breakbeat comes into play, the song is brought to a new level.

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