Music

The Mix: ThistleRadio's 100 Essential Celtic Songs

NPR | May 22, 2013 12:57 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 1:23 p.m.

Contributed By:

Fiona Ritchie

Welcome to the debut of ThistleRadio, our 24/7 channel devoted to music with Celtic roots. During almost 30 years hosting The Thistle & Shamrock, I’ve been privileged to hear thousands of albums on everything from vinyl to MP3. For the launch of ThistleRadio, I’ve selected 100 songs and instrumentals by passionate performers from across the decades who have helped define the sound of my radio shows.

ThistleRadio is essential listening for dedicated fans of the Celtic sound and its many trailblazing artists. If you’re new to it all, this is the perfect place to discover the heart and soul of a dazzling traditional and contemporary art form. As the channel grows, I’ll regularly introduce new tracks to the mix, both from established architects of the genre and from the rising tide of new talent, so come back often.

From the pub to the performing-arts center, from the kitchen to the recording studio, this music has already traveled many a mile. ThistleRadio now presents its new online home. Tune in and see where the music takes you.


ThistleRadio’s 100 Essential Celtic Songs

  • Abby Newton, “Tarbolton Lodge”
  • Alan Stivell, “Suite Des Montagnes”
  • Alasdair Fraser & Paul Machlis, “The Banks Of Spey/Brenda Stubbert’s Reel”
  • Alasdair Fraser’s Skyedance, “Harris Dance”
  • Altan, “Blackwaterside”
  • Antonio Breschi, “The Maid Of Coolmore”
  • Arcady, “Trois Matelots Du Port-De-Brest”
  • Archie Fisher, “All That You Ask Me”
  • Battlefield Band, “Shepherd Lad”
  • Battlefield Band, “The Presbyterian Hornpipe/The Watchmaker’s Daughter/The Hurricane”
  • Bill Whelan, “Timedance 92 — The Ballyman Regatta”
  • Billy Jackson, “Molendinar, The Spring”
  • The Black Family, “Will Ye Gang, Love”
  • Blazin’ Fiddles, “Swedish”
  • Bothy Band, “Calum Sgaire”
  • Boys Of The Lough, “Once I Loved”
  • Capercaillie, “Cockerel In The Creel”
  • Capercaillie, “Inexile”
  • Cara Dillon, “Here’s A Health”
  • Carlos Nunez, “O Cabalo Azul”
  • Catherine-Ann MacPhee, “Puirt-A-Beul”
  • Cathie Ryan, “Ta Se Na La”
  • Chantan, “Slave’s Lament”
  • Cherish The Ladies, “Fair And Tender Ladies”
  • The Chieftains, “Brian Boru March”
  • Chris Wood, Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy & The Young Coppers, “Cold, Hailey, Rainy Night”
  • Christy Moore, “Ride On”
  • Clannad, “Caide Sin Don Te Sin?”
  • The Colour Of Memory, “An Emotional Fish”
  • Cran, “Staimpi”
  • Dan Ar Braz, “Evit Ar Braz”
  • Davy Spillane, “Midnight Walker”
  • Deiseal, “The Long (Long) Note”
  • Dick Gaughan, “Now Westlin Winds”
  • Dick Gaughan, “Sail On”
  • Donal Lunny, “Glentown”
  • Dougie MacLean, “Feel So Near”
  • Dougie MacLean, “Turning Away”
  • The Easy Club, “The North Sea Chinaman, The Linguist”
  • Eileen Ivers, “Dear Irish Boy”
  • Ffynnon, “Y Gwydd”
  • Flook, “Sligo Reel”
  • Frankie Kennedy & Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, “M’eilti Cheann Dubhrann (Fonn Mall)/Cloch Na Caithre Mhile (Ríl)”
  • Jean Redpath, “Mill O’ Tifty’s Annie (Child 233)”
  • Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg & Edgar Meyer, “The Earl Of Hyndford & Open The Present”
  • Jim Malcolm, “Jimmy’s Gone To Flanders”
  • John Doyle, “Sovay”
  • John Doyle, “The Glad Eye/The Journeyman/The Wayward Son”
  • Johnny Cunningham, “Waulkin O’ The Fauld”
  • Julie Fowlis, “Rugadh Mi ‘n Teis Meadhan Na Mara”
  • Karan Casey, “She Is Like The Swallow”
  • Kate Rusby, “The Wild Goose”
  • Kathryn Tickell, “Our Kate/The Welcome Home”
  • Kevin Burke & Micheal O Domhnaill, “Breton Gavottes”
  • Kíla, “Double Knuckle Shuffle”
  • Kim Robertson, “Crossing The Bridge”
  • La Lugh, “Brighid’s Kiss”
  • Liam O’Flynn, “Farewell To Govan”
  • Liz Carroll, “Sevens/Michael Kennedy’s/The Cup Of Tea”
  • Lunasa, “Eanair”
  • Mae McKenna, “Laoidh Chaluim Chille”
  • Maggie MacInnes, “Two Waulking Songs: Tha Mulad, Tha Fadachd, Tha Cnamh Orm/Chuala mi’n de”
  • Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill, “Amhran Pheadar Breathnach”
  • Maire Brennan, “Ce Leis”
  • Martyn Bennett, “Tongues Of Kali”
  • Mary Black, “Paddy’s Lamentation/Ships Are Sailing”
  • Matt Molloy, “Air: The Parting Of Friends, Slip Jig, Reel: Paddy Ryan’s Dream”
  • Maura O’Connell, “The Water Is Wide”
  • Mhairi Hall & Patsy Reid, “The World’s Gone Over Me Now”
  • Micheal McGoldrick, “Watermans”
  • Milladoiro, “Maneo Da Ulla — Foliada De Padrenda”
  • Moving Hearts, “The Titanic: An Irishman In Brittany; A Breton In Paris”
  • Natalie MacMaster, “The Farewell”
  • Niamh Parson, “Man Of Arran”
  • Niamh Parsons, “Horo Johnny”
  • Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn, “Caoineadh Eoghain Ruadh”
  • Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn, “E Minor Reel/Lads Of Laois”
  • Old Blind Dogs, “Edward”
  • Paul Brady, “Mary And The Soldier”
  • Pauline Scanlon, “Rain And Snow”
  • Pierre Bensusan, “De Trilport/A Fublaines”
  • The Poozies, “Willie’s Old Trousers/The Whole Thing”
  • Rag Foundation, “Swansea Barracks”
  • Relativity, “Siun Ni Dhuibhir”
  • Robin Huw Bowen, “David Of The White Rock/The Baron’s Barn”
  • Seamus Egan, “Masons Apron/My Love Is In America”
  • Sharon Shannon & Friends, “Libertango”
  • Shooglenifty, “Good Drying”
  • Sileas, “Planxty Crockery/Domhnall Dubh”
  • Soig Siberil, “Abril/O Maio/Xota de Ourense”
  • Solas, “The Stride Set”
  • The Sult House Band featuring John McSherry, “Sult Theme”
  • Tabache, “Waves Of Rush/The Duke Of Fife’s Welcome To Deeside/Touching”
  • The Tannahill Weavers, “The American Stranger”
  • Tim O’Brien, “Ireland’s Green Shore”
  • Tony McManus, “The Maid Behind Mcglinchey’s Bar/Frankie Gavin’s”
  • Touchstone, “Bolen’s Fancy/Dunmore Lasses/The Maid Behind The Bar/The Glass”
  • The Whistlebinkies, “Inner Sound”
  • William Jackson, “Corryvreckan”
  • Wolfstone, “Ballavanich”
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