Top ten greatest Irish singer-songwriters


7. Shane McGowan 'Fairytale of New York'

Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan is an Irish musician and singer. He is best known as the original songwriter and singer of the Pogues. Born in Kent England to Irish parents, McGowan spent his early childhood in Tipperary.

The crooner lists 19th Century Irish poet James Clarence Mangan and playwright Brendan Behan as influences. Between 1985 and 1987, he co-wrote 'Fairytale in New York' which he performed with Kirsty MacColl. The Pogues went on to release several albums before having a falling out due to McGowan’s struggles with substance abuse. The band later reformed to tour internationally. Shane started a new band called Shane McGowan and the Popes and recorded new material and a live DVD. The living legend was voted #50 in the NME Rock Heroes List.

8. Mundy (Edmund Enright) 'July'

Edmund Entright is a singer-songwriter nicknamed “Mundy” born on 12 February 1976, Birr, County Offaly. He was signed to Epic Records and released his debut album Jellylegs in 1996.

The album’s song 'To You I Bestow' was featured on the "Romeo + Juliet" soundtrack. The royalties from this tune allowed Mundy to start his own record label, Camcor Records, on which he released his second album, 24 Star Hotel. The album contained the song 'July,' an ode to joy of Irish Summers, which gained heavy airplay throughout the summer months and is his signature tune. The album has gone on to triple platinum status. Mundy has recorded three more albums on his Camcor label to much success.

9.  Damien Rice 'Nine Crimes'

The Kildare native is an Irish singer-songwriter and musician who plays guitar, piano, clarinet, and percussion. He started his career in the 90s as a member of the rock group Juniper. Rice left the band in 1998 and briefly became a farmer in Italy. After busking around Europe, he returned to Ireland to embark on a solo career.

In 2002, Rice’s debut album "O" reached #8 on the UK charts, won the Shortlist music prize and garnered many awards and accolades. Rice released his second album 9 in 2006. The single 'Nine Crimes' appears on this album and peaked at #29 on the UK singles charts. In 2009, Rice made an appearance at number thirty-four on The Irish Times’ “The Best 50 Irish Acts Right Now.”

10. Pete St. John 'Fields of Anthenry'

Pete St. John (real name Peter Mooney) is an Irish folk singer-songwriter. He is most well known for writing 'Fields of Anthenry.' This modern balladeer also penned the classic 'Dublin in the Rare Old Times.'

The Dubliner lived and worked abroad  as a truck driver, logging camp laborer, professional athlete, and electrical contracting executive. He returned to Ireland in the 1970s and began writing music reflecting his involvement in the peace movement and international civil rights.

St. John’s songs have become part of the repertoires of Ireland’s leading singers and musicians. His work has been cited by The Irish Association of Songwriters and Composers and  The U.S. Irish Cultural Society among others.  

PHOTOS - Ireland most loved musicians and songwriters

Read more: Top ten Irish songs for St. Patrick’s Day


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