It’s Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy. Admittedly, these aren’t books, but here is some of my favourite music from the island of Ireland.

  1. Glue by Bicep (2017): Belfast duo Bicep are dismissed by some as middle-class, middle-aged dinner party electronica, but I unapologetically love this nostalgic serotonin rush of a song.

2. Courage by Villagers (2015): Conor O’Brien channels a sort of late ’60s folk vibe, and this song is just gorgeous, as is Everything I Am Is Yours off the same album.

3. One by U2 (1991): Not a big U2 fan, but I asked for the album Achtung Baby for birthday way back in 1991 on the basis of this song. I remember being sorely disappointed with the rest of the album, with the exception of the fab The Fly (and so much tape winding and rewinding was required to find the two decent tracks!).

4. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones (1978): A Northern Irish pop/punk classic that was reputedly awarded a 28-star rating (out of 5) on its release by iconic DJ John Peel.

5. A Lady of a Certain Age by Divine Comedy (2006): I’m not usually a big fan of this Northern Irish band, led by Neil Hannon, but I do love this one.

6. I Don’t Like Mondays by Boomtown Rats (1979): A song that’s not heard often these days, it was the sixth most popular song of 1979 according to Wiki. The dark lyrics reference a school shooting in that year in the US. Here’s Bob Geldof performing the song at 1985’s Live Aid concert

7. Ramalama (Bang Bang) by Roisin Murphy (2005): energetic electronica with a banging baseline from 50% of the band Moloko (of The Time is Now fame).

8. Watermark by Enya (1988): There’s undoubtedly something deeply cheesy about Enya, but I can’t help loving this beautiful instrumental track.

9. Zombie by the Cranberries (1994): written in response to the death of two children in an IRA bombing, it’s a howl of rage and despair from Cranberries singer Denise O’Riordan who tragically died in 2018.

10. Take Me to Church by Hozier (2013): Famed for its amazing video, the song describes a gay relationship stigmatized by religious discrimination. According to Wikipedia some people unfortunately took the title literally and “were very upset” when they discovered the song was “not actually about being taken to church”.

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