Great Songs from the Irish Folk Tradition

Written by
Emma Byrne
Eoin O'Brien
Best-Loved Irish Ballads

Songs to stir the soul and move the feet, raise a roar or bring a tear to the eye.
From Danny Boy to Boulavogue and more, this book celebrates the cream of Irish ballads, explaining the origins of each song, along with words, melodies and chords. Illustrated with evocative photographs and  woodcuts..

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160 pages
196x130 mm
Category Music

A collection of Ireland’s greatest and best-loved ballads, including the lyrics, music and chords, along with an introductory piece on each song. Illustrated with photographs and woodcuts. A beautiful guide to the cream of the Irish ballad tradition.

Songs of love, yearning, revolution, celebration, emigration, mourning, fun, famine, drinking and more. A collection of powerful yet beautiful ballads of Ireland, placed in and reflecting historical events and traditions. All have stood the test of time and present to the world the uniqueness of Irish history and her musical and revolutionary traditions.


  • Are You Right There Michael?
  • Danny Boy
  • Kevin Barry
  • I’ll Tell Me Ma
  • The Irish Rover
  • Molly Malone
  • The Rare Old Mountain Dew
  • The Rocky Road to Dublin
  • The Rose of Tralee
  • Whiskey in the Jar

Best-Loved Irish Ballads celebrates the songs and tradition of Irish music.

Emma Byrne is a graphic designer and artist. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design. She has won numerous awards for her design including The IDI (Irish Design Institute) Graduate Designer of the Year, the IDI Promotional Literature Award for her work on Brown Morning, and a Children’s Books Ireland Bisto Merit Award for her work on Something Beginning With P: New Poems from Irish Poets. She has illustrated many books, including Best-Loved Oscar Wilde, Best Loved Yeats, The Most Beautiful Letter in the World by Karl O’Neill, a special edition of Ulysses by James Joyce, and A Terrible Beauty by Mairéad Ashe Fitzgerald. She lives in a thatched house in Co. Wexford.

Eoin O’Brien is a songwriter and musician, a writer and illustrator.
He enjoys nothing more than a good old singsong around a kitchen table or a bonfire. He lives with his fantastic wife, two beautiful children and a dog, in historic Glasnevin in north Dublin.

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