St. Patrick’s playlist

By Dave Coffey

Editor’s note: This is part of the Daily Collegian’s St. Patrick’s Day special issue.

Break out the shot glasses and get ready to sleep on your side, because it’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it’s not Christmas – it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, when we all celebrate the historically cloudy actions of some guy whose name wasn’t really Patrick, who wasn’t really Irish, by wearing green and getting super trashed.


St. Patrick’s Day isn’t about who is and who isn’t Irish, it’s about coming together – because no matter what your ethnic background, everyone enjoys taking one day a year to drink so much you can’t pronounce your own first name. And if you’re going to survive the day the streets run amber with beer and human bile, you’re going to need some good tunage to keep your heart (and liver) ticking. Give these nine tracks a listen to really put that fourth leaf in your clover.

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak

What better way to set the tone for the day’s festivities than a jam from the world’s first Irish heavy metal band: the down and dirty Dublin four-piece, Thin Lizzy. This is one of those hard rock tunes that doesn’t mess around. Right off the bat, when that chug-a-lug guitar riff gets going, even the guy in AA is ordering a shot. This song sounds like it was written for the occasion: “Tonight there’s gonna be trouble/Some of us won’t survive/See, the boys and me mean business/Bustin’ out dead or alive.” If you’re planning on starting your St. Paddy’s day with a liquid breakfast, do it to this song.

The Saw Doctors – Macnas Parade

Every St. Patrick’s Day needs a parade, and by “parade,” I of course mean “excuse to be drunk in public.” This stomper of a tune has it all – a jaunty beat, a penny whistle solo and a chorus that’s catchy enough to remember even after imbibing enough Bailey’s Irish Cream to down a bull elephant. As for the words, they’re a bit tough to make out even while sober, save for the odd utterance of “dance” and “parade,” but do you really need to know anything else? Shut up and dance, rummy. Just don’t sue the bar if you try and do a jig on the tabletops and crack a few ribs.

Dropkick Murphys – I’m Shipping Up To Boston

It doesn’t matter where you are – a bar, a church, a burn ward – if this song doesn’t get the whole place drinking like sailors, then you’re in the wrong place on this particular day, bub. Rarely has the combination of banjo and accordion kicked so much ass. If tying one on to the thought of people getting brutally murdered in “The Departed” doesn’t float your dinghy, just say a prayer over your Guinness in thanks that you still have all your extremities, unlike the narrator of this furious ditty. Pro-tip: find a guy with a wooden leg and buy him a drink – it’s good Gaelic karma.

The Cranberries – Linger

Time to slow things down with this delicate ballad from Limerick alt-rockers The Cranberries. This is one for that moment when you lock eyes with that special someone at the bar after you both order a whiskey sour (hold the sour, with a whiskey chaser). The slow burn of 80-proof Irish aspirin will be soothed away by the lyrical brogue of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan as you internally reflect on how much of a mood-killer it would have been had we picked “Zombie” instead.

Primordial – No Nation On This Earth

Okay, so you just got turned down by the only person in the bar who could stand your whiskey breath because you puked in their lap – go hard or go home, as they say. Let off some steam with the blackened folk metal stylings of County Dublin natives Primordial. Traditional pub music this is not, but if your night of inebriation needs a testosterone injection, look no further than this galloping, growling number. Starting a brawl is not necessarily recommended, but if you find yourself on the wrong side of a broken bottle, you’ll want this blaring in your ears. Remember,crazy beats big every time.

My Bloody Valentine – I Only Said

This far along in the evening, you should be feeling it – and by that I mean you probably can’t feel anything at all. If you’re doing it right, you should have been hit with a chair or have broken glass in your eye, or both, if you’re an overachiever. Help the alcohol in your system fuzz the pain away with the distorted and saturated ambiance of Dublin shoegazers My Bloody Valentine. Let the blissfully layered melodies distract you as you gently float your healthy buzz into a full on drunk-and-disorderly, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly somewhere out on the wild emerald mosses.

The Dubliners and The Pogues – Whiskey In The Jar

Oh snap – it’s getting to that late time of night where the only ones still standing are the old-timers who have been abusing their livers since before you were born. Impress them with this classic Irish drinking song – plus get more bang for your track by spinning the version that features Irish folk gurus The Dubliners and Celtic rock legends The Pogues. Your ability to sing at this stage of the night is most likely considerably hampered, but with a chorus that boasts lines such as “Musha rin du-rum do du-rum da/Whack for my daddy-o,” this song was tailor-made to be slurred through. Slante!

Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies

This Celtic punk anthem is a suiting cap to the festivities, with bonus awesome points for being featured on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 soundtrack. No matter what walk of life you come from, we all end up in the fetal position around the toilet at the end of the night. As far as lullabies go, it’s pretty boisterous, but if one has a good and proper St. Patrick’s Day, no racket on Earth will stir the booze coma that inevitably comes afterward.


Enya – Only Time

Well, you survived yet another March 17 – barely. Unfortunately, the inside of your cranium feels like its been on the business end of a nuclear holocaust, and you need some hangover-repellant sustenance. Take the morning after slowly, listen to the least offensive music ever made – vaguely Celtic new age – and wake up the Enya way. Let the gentle plucks of strings and the cascade of heavenly reverbed vocals wash over you while you put on your pants and quickly leave before you stir whoever the hell owns the house you just woke up in from their own Jameson-soaked dream world.

Dave Coffey can be reached at [email protected]