The best Irish music from the movies


The Irish are Europe’s biggest moviegoers (obviously not in 2020, the year of COVID), and the Irish are also known worldwide for their musical talent.

Big fans of Irish movies and music, we know that often a movie soundtrack stays with you long after you’ve left the cinema. We browsed through our favorite movies and picked our favorite Irish music from the movies.

You can check out our Spotify playlist here:

Read more: Matt Damon’s COVID-19 ‘fairy tale’ in Dublin calls Irish doctor PM ‘badass’

The Departed (2006) – Expedition to Boston, by The Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphy’s are an Irish and American Celtic punk band and their song “Shipping Up to Boson” featured prominently in The Departed. You can’t deny that his song will make your blood pumping and continues to be used often in the soundtracks and at Fighting Irish events.

Once (2007) – Falling Slowly, by Glen Hansard

This Oscar winning song became truly iconic with the beautiful wellness film. This independent film directed by John Carney, starring Hansard and Markéta Irglová, is a modern Irish classic.

Killing Bono (2011) – I still haven’t found what I was looking for, by U2

Killing Bono is a comedic film, based on the memoir of Neil McCormick and it will have you laughing to the ground. As the title suggests, U2 is very present. The film stars Ben Barnes and Irish star Robert Sheehan alongside Pete Postlethwaite, who sadly passed away three months before its release.

Brooklyn (2015) – Casadh an tSúgáin (Twisting the Rope), a traditional song performed by Iarla Ó Lionáird

With Saoirse Ronan, this romantic historical drama, based on Colm Toibín’s novel, was internationally massive. One scene and one song stand out for us and that is the performance of Iarla Ó Lionáird, who plays Frankie Doran, a poor worker who sings the traditional song “Casadh an tSúgáin” (Twisting the rope) during Christmas dinner in a soup kitchen. We think you will agree that it is beautiful.

Read more: Hear this group of Irish men sing a hauntingly beautiful song

Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) – Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile (welcome home), performed by The Dubliners

The Wind That Shakes Barley is a 2006 war drama directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922-1923). This beloved and heartbreaking movement features the traditional Irish song which is known as a rebellious song.

Michael Collins (1996) – Macushla, performed by Frank Patterson and Johnny McCormack

Michael Collins is a 1996 biographical period drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson as Michael Collins, the Irish patriot and revolutionary who died in the Irish Civil War.

The name of this particularly moving song is a transliteration from Irish “mo chuisle”, which means “my pulse” as used in the expression a chuisle mo chroí, which means “the pulse of my heart”.

Live By The Night (2017) – Lullaby of the incendiary, by Hozier

While Ben Affleck’s film was not among critics’ favorites, this song, Arsonist’s Lullaby, by Wicklow Hozier’s Man was a great choice. The moving track even provided a dramatic backdrop for the film’s trailer.

LISTEN: Bono chooses his 40 favorite Irish songs


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