Put on your green regalia and lucky charms, St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. The one day a year when every American exhibits “Celtic Pride”. When you hit the local pub and get a few drinks in you, Rent It Today has a few suggested, tried and true tracks the next time you walk up to the jukebox. If you’re celebrating at home, be sure to search for these tracks on the music rental service, Spotify.
Land of 1,000 Dances – Wilson Pickett (1966)
Get the party started with an old school track that everyone will recognize. We dig back to the Stax/Atlantic record era of the mid-60s when r&b singers like Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett were kings. Great saxophone solo, bass rhythm and throat tearing yelling make this a toe-tapper.
I Will Follow – U2 (1980)
What would a St. Patty’s Day celebration be without a signature tune from Dublin natives, U2? We reach back to their first album when they were full of rebellious energy and a whole lot of lager. Early shades of brilliance that would follow the band throughout the 80s.
Ho Hey – The Lumineers (2012)
If you aren’t tired of this after nearly two years of incessant radio play, be the person that subjects the bar to it again. Simplistic with a catchy refrain, there’s bound to be a more than a few drunk bar patrons singing the chorus–sloppily that is.
I’m Shipping Up to Boston – Dropkick Murphys (2005)
This obligatory Celtic punk anthem better find its way into the rotation, otherwise old man O’Brien is liable to bust his Guinness mug over the head of the the next guy (or gal) who pumps money into the jukebox and neglects this fist pumper.
Shackled and Drawn – Bruce Springsteen (2012)
You have to inject some “Bruce Juice” (of Irish descent of course). Leave it to the Boss to give us a foot-stomping sing-a-long off his most recent album. This is a healthy alternative to his “Born in the U.S.A.” material that wears itself out in pubs across the country.
Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker (2013)
Originally penned by 20th century rock poet laureate, Bob Dylan, “Wagon Wheel” has found the Millenial audience of the 21st century with open ears. Fans are split over which version is better, the big studio sound of Rucker’s version or the old-timey, raw feel of Old C row Medicine Show. The song pleases a crowd either way.
Whiskey in the Jar – Metallica (1998)
After a string of succesful radio friendly albums in the 90s, Metallica compiled some of their favorite songs for a cover album titled “Garage Inc.”. Among the songs was this Irish traditional cover, formerly inspired by Thin Lizzy’s version. ‘Tallica adds a little voltage with this edgy version.
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (1969)
Ok, so this isn’t the most inventive selection one could make. How many million times has this been forced upon unready ears at wedding receptions, ball games, banquet parties, etc.? The answer is: not enough. An ode to Caroline Kennedy, of the (Irish) Kennedy, political family from Massachusetts, this catch AM pop hit of yesteryear is pretty much a go-to when in doubt.
Ramblin’ Fever – Merle Haggard (1976)
The Country Music Hall of Fame legend gives us plenty of reasons why we should anchor down the bar, and keep the good beer flowing in this classic country track about restless souls. Back when country music was sung by real people with real problems. The Hag is of Scotch-Irish descent as well, which couldn’t hurt.
Drinking Again – Frank Sinatra (1967)
Time to flip the bar stools over and close her down. Ol’ Blue Eyes wasn’t only the most dominant figure in music of the 20th century, he was one hell of a saloon singer. The party is over, excuse me while I soak up my sorrows with this “closing time” number.