Running with Irish Music: A Guide to Crafting the Perfect Playlist

May 17, 2024


Planning the music for your runs this summer? Although it’s been just over two months since Paddy’s Day, what better way to invigorate your workouts can there be than with the lively rhythms and infectious melodies of Irish music? Whether you're sprinting the streets of Dublin or Belfast or exploring scenic trails outside the big cities, a decent Spotify playlist can provide the perfect soundtrack to keep you motivated and energized every step of the way. So let’s have a brief intro into Irish music and discover the tunes that will make your summer runs truly unforgettable.

Section 1: The Celtic Rhythms

Irish music is renowned for its vibrant rhythms and soul-stirring melodies. Rooted in centuries of tradition, Celtic music captures the spirit of Ireland with its lively jigs, reels, and hornpipes. As you put into those hard-fought miles, why not let the beat of the bodhrán, the thrill of the tin whistle, or the fiery fiddle tunes propel you forward?


  1. Morrison's Jig - Aaron Dolan
  2. Cooley's Reel - The Dubliners
  3. The Kesh Jig - le Ceoltóiri Cultúrlainne
  4. The Congress Reel – Poitin
  5. The Blackthorn Stick – Comhaltas

Section 2: Upbeat Irish Jigs and Reels

Next, we move away from Celtic rhythms to the similar but far more Irish jigs and reels that will definitely put a spring in your step when you head out for that run. From the classic "Drowsy Maggie" to the timeless "Irish Washerwoman," these lively tunes are guaranteed to keep you moving and grooving from start to finish. Can you feel that adrenaline surge already?


  1. Drowsy Maggie – The Chieftains
  2. The Irish Washerwoman - The Irish Folk
  3. The Butterfly - Idlewild
  4. The Maid Behind the Bar - The Dubliners
  5. Maid in the Meadow – Padraic MacMathúna

Section 3: Modern Irish Music for the Road

While traditional Irish music holds a special place in our hearts, modern artists and bands have been putting a fresh spin on the Celtic sounds for quite some time, blending traditional influences with contemporary beats. Songs from the likes of the Saw Doctors, Dropkick Murphys, and Mundy fuse folk, rock, and pop elements to create an electrifying musical experience. Let their infectious energy propel you forward as you conquer new challenges and push past your limits.


  1. Galway Girl – Mundy & Sharon Shannon
  2. Hills of Donegal – Goats Don’t Shave
  3. N17 - The Saw Doctors
  4. Fisherman's Blues - The Waterboys
  5. Dropkick Murphys - Shipping up to Boston

Section 4: Folk and Acoustic Vibes

For moments of reflection and relaxation during your summer runs, turn to the soothing sounds of Irish folk and acoustic music. From haunting ballads to gentle melodies, these timeless tunes offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Let the tranquil harmonies of artists like Enya and Damien Rice wash over you as you take in the beauty of your surroundings and find peace in motion.


  1. Orinoco Flow - Enya
  2. The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
  3. Caledonia - Dolores Keane
  4. She Moved Through the Fair - Sinead O'Connor
  5. The Lakes of Pontchartrain - Paul Brady

Section 5: Modern Irish Rock Bands And lastly, we get to rock out with some of Ireland's most iconic rock bands, whose anthems will push you to new heights during your summer runs. From the legendary Thin Lizzy to the more recent hits from Snow Patrol, let the powerful guitar riffs and vocals turbocharge your runs.

Sample Tracks

  1. The Boys Are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy
  2. Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
  3. Zombie – The Cranberries
  4. Just Say Yes - Snow Patrol
  5. Teenage Kicks – The Undertones


So as the weather is changing, the days are longer, and you get out more for those runs over the summer months, let the spirited sounds of Irish music guide your every stride. From the ancient rhythms of the Celtic tradition to the modern beats of today's chart-toppers, the music of Ireland offers endless inspiration and motivation for runners of all levels. So get onto Spotify, put together that perfect playlist, press play, and let those Irish beats carry you to new heights of running. And perhaps this music will leave you craving a pint of the black stuff after your run, Sláinte!

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