Pop Songs in Irish

Pop songs in the Irish language are somewhat of a recent phenomenon in Ireland. With the population of Irish-medium scho more...

Pop songs in the Irish language are somewhat of a recent phenomenon in Ireland. With the population of Irish-medium schools rising steadily each year, more and more Irish children have become interested in learning and singing pop songs as Gaeilge. The most popular of these usually being in English originally and translated over to Irish.

Seachtain na Gaeilge (“Irish language week”) is a non-profit organisation in Ireland which promotes the Irish language during a two week festival held at the beginning of March every year. As part of these celebrations, the organisers have released compilation CDs every year since 2005 of modern pop songs translated and performed in the Irish language. Called SnaG ’05, Ceol ’06, Ceol ’07 and Ceol ’08 etc. these albums have included songs such as Bladhm by Bell X1, Falling Slowly as Gaeilge by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and Heroes or Ghosts as Gaeilge by The Coronas. Other well know artists have released Irish versions of their songs for the Seachtain na Gaeilge CD such as Paddy Casey, Mundy, The Frames, Damien Dempsey, The Corrs, and Declan O’Rourke.

Coláiste Lurgan is an Independent Irish language summer school based in Indreabhán, Galway. Over the past couple of years, Coláiste Lurgan and its students have produced several covers of popular English-language songs translated into Irish. Their YouTube channel, TG Lurgan, has amassed some half a million views since 2010. A few of their most popular productions include a cover of Some Nights as Gaeilge by American indie pop band Fun, which features a brilliant vocal ensemble from all the students. Student Keith Ó Brien does an excellent vocal cover of The man who can’t be moved as Gaeilge, Jenny Ní Ruiséil brings Irish language vocals to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance as Gaeilge, and Rolling in the Deep as Gaeilge sung by student Clara.

Other Irish artists have released pop songs as Gaeilge. The Rubberbandits produced I Wanna Fight Your Father as Gaeilge, which has amassed almost 1 million views on YouTube. Students at Trinity College Dublin produced a very popular cover of Call Me Maybe as Gaeilge.


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