Earlier this year, RTÉ asked audiences at home and across the world, to tell us what your favourite folk song is, and why.
Our aim was simple: to put together a landmark TV series that celebrates the central role that folk song has played, and continues to play, in Irish life. And to find out which song you feel best captures the essence of folk music in Ireland – and deserves the title of Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song.
Thousands of you nominated hundreds of songs, and a jury was set the nigh-impossible task of whittling down your suggestions to a final shortlist of ten classic folk songs that illustrate how song has captured our collective experiences as people throughout the centuries. Find out more about how our jury made their final selection here.
The top ten shortlisted songs are:
A Rainy Night in Soho
A Woman’s Heart
Óró, Sé do Bheatha 'Bhaile
On Raglan Road
Rocky Road to Dublin
The Foggy Dew
The Green Fields of France (Willie McBride)
The Parting Glass
The Town I Loved So Well
We created a brand-new television series, Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song, presented by folk legend Mary Black and featuring a host of stars past and present of the Irish folk scene, all episodes can be watched on the RTÉ player here
We commissioned ten beautiful new interpretations of each of the top ten songs which you can watch here. Music historian Gerry Hanberry has written a short piece exploring the history and stories behind each of the ten songs.
You have watched, listened and absorbed, and told us which song of the ten songs on our shortlist you feel deserves to be crowned Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song.
Voting has closed. The folk song selected by you as Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song will be announced live on The Late Late Show on RTÉ One Television on 31st May. Between now and then: happy listening!
For further information on the campaign, see our terms and conditions here.
Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song is brought to you by RTÉ in association with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, IMRO and The Ronan Collins Show on RTÉ Radio 1.