A Pre-1920 St. Patrick’s Day Play List

Tom Ennis
Tom Ennis

We collected these Irish highlights from the National Jukebox, a Library of Congress effort to digitize early 78 RPM records (pre-1925) and make them available to posterity. Learn more about the project at www.loc.gov/jukebox/

Irish titles were very popular from the dawn of recording. They were marketed both to the immigrant population and the public at large. It is easy to follow a progression from the earliest recordings, which were ethnic comic sketches playing on stereotypes to later titles celebrating Irish song and pride.

Red Wood Coast

Our playlist focuses on instrumental recordings of jigs, reels, and hornpipes. The improvisational approach of Irish musicians found its way into many strains of American music, including ragtime and jazz.

You can browse and listen to all of the National Jukebox recordings by or about the Irish at www.loc.gov/jukebox/irish. Some titles will be familiar, others will be offensive. You can view our curated playlist, and create your own on the National Jukebox Player.

Medley of Irish jigs, no. 2 John Kimmel, performing. Victor 18207 (10/30/1916)

Geese in the bog medley John Kimmel, performing. Victor 18193 (10/30/1916)

Dublin jig medley Patrick J. Clancy & Arthur P. Kenna, performing. Victor 18639 (10/07/1919)

Flanagan_Brothers_with_J_Grant
Flanagan Brothers with J. Grant

A few more of our favorites, the links go to Library of Congress National Jukebox:

John Kimmel
John Kimmel

My partner’s fancy John Kimmel, performing. Victor 19271 (06/25/1919)

Irish jigs medley Tom Ennis, performing. Victor 18286  (04/07/1917)

Medley of Irish jigs John Kimmel, performing. Victor 18727 (6/25/1919)

Medley of Irish reels, no. 6  Tom Ennis, performing. Victor 18366 (04/07/1917)

Irish tune from County Derry (Danny Boy)- Victor Concert Orchestra, performing. Victor 17897 (10/261915)

Irish melodies medley  Tom Ennis, performing. Victor 18286 (4/7/1917)

Nauck

Irish hornpipes, medley no. 3 Tom Ennis, performing. Victor 18366 (4/7/1917)

Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of SyncopatedTimes.com

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