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11 songs that will take you right back to your days in the Gaeltacht

Fadó fadó Éirinn, roimh theacht don nua-aois…

IN BETWEEN THE dancing at the weekly céilidh and furtively shifting behind the coláiste, the teenage three-week stint in the Gaeltacht consists mostly of singing.

Do you remember the songs you sang as a sweaty-palmed youth in a re-purposed sports hall in the West many moons ago? This staffer has to admit that it’s released a flood of memories. Some bad, some good, some best left in the soppy goodbye letters written before the train home…

1. Tír na nÓg

Did your Gaeltacht have the shouted bits over the chorus? “CAD A RINNE SÍ” etc. Good times.

EireKingdomOFkings / YouTube

2. An Poc Ar Buile

The mad billy goat. Sure what else would you be singing about?

clarebannerman / YouTube

3. An Dreoilín

Ah, the high-pitched dance tune that we’ll all land in our graves humming. Anyone who can still break out the choreographed dance to this is a winner in our books.

Flipyness / YouTube

4. Conamara

With a chorus crying out for a shouted singalong. OOOH… 

TG Ciarán / YouTube

5. Peigín Leitir Móir

Altogether: “Éirigh suas a Pheigín…”

TG Ciarán / YouTube

6. Teir Abhaile Riú

Best sung with supreme gusto. And in a round, if the other boys/girls in your Tigh were able for it.

TG Ciarán / YouTube

7. Beidh Aonach Amárach

This one’ll be familiar to those among us who weren’t subjected to their weeks in the Gaeltacht. A proper classic.

Sportymike / YouTube

8. Éist a stór

One for the sopranos in the coláiste, for sure, but beautiful if sung correctly. Definitely more poignant than a bunch of teenagers could really understand during a hormone-fuelled amhráin session.

thegoldensisters1 / YouTube

9. Liza

Liza required a great deal of stomping and clapping.

Gawaine687 / YouTube

10. Random covers

Things like Maidin Ag Gealadh, a Cat Stevens cover, or whatever one of the more musical among the cúnteoirs knocked together on their battered acoustic guitar.

DoubleSqueeze / YouTube

11. Aifreann

A Thiarna Déan Trócaire, A Mhuire Mháthair, Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat a Íosa… The hymns learnt off for the weekly spin to Mass are also deeply ingrained in the former Gaeltacht-goer’s brain.

Anne Doran / YouTube

Thanks to @bigmonsterlove, @twoandahalfribs, @fruglo and @aine_beamish for their suggestions to this list. 

And of course, everyone’s Coláiste had their own anthem. It was far from Irish language Avicii covers we were reared. Share your aural Irish memories in the comments…

Read: 13 wonderful things we’d miss in a world without Irish>

Read: 8 things we all did in the Gaeltacht>

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