With St. Patrick's Day almost upon us, Irish people near and far are gearing up for the celebration of our national day (and an extra day off work, wahey.)

Of course, there's no such thing as a hooley without a soundtrack – but instead of the usual diddly-eye fare, we've put together a list of songs that make you wistful for home for other reasons.

You'll notice that a couple of these songs aren't remotely Irish, but will have you either bursting with patriotic pride or sobbing into your shamrocks with homesickness by the end of the first verse.

 

1. The Saw Doctors - 'N17'

It doesn't matter a jot if you've never been on the N17 motorway or even whether you like the Saw Doctors or not. This tune will have you longing for the stone walls and green grass like you were born and reared on 'em.

2. Thin Lizzy - 'Whiskey in the Jar'

Philo and his bandmates provided one of the finest rock updates to a traditional song ever in 1972, and it still sounds incredible 45 years later. (Special mention to Phil Lynott's 'Old Town', which makes us feel nostalgic for 1970s Dublin even though we weren't born.)

*

3. Dusty Springfield - 'Goin' Back'

This Carole King and Gerry Goffin-penned song has absolutely no Irish connection, other than the fact that it was used on an ad for ESB in the '80s. If you don't get a tear in your eye hearing Dusty Springfield (who was of Irish heritage herself) crooning as a young Alan Hughes pulls up to mammy's house in his banger of a Peugeot, are you even Irish?
 

*

4. 'The Fields of Athenry'

It doesn't matter where you are in the world, or whether you hate the song or not – when you're surrounded by your fellow Irishmen and women, you'll sing along to The Fields of Athenry despite your best intentions, dammit.
 

*

5. Boyzone - 'Love Me for a Reason'

Boyzone were the pop soundtrack for a generation of youngsters in the 1990s, and the bang of nostalgia off their cheesier-than-cheesy cover of The Osmonds' 1974 hit will have you pining for the days of rollerblades, Pogs and Smash Hits like no other.

*

6. 'Ireland's Call'

Of course, Amhran na bhFiann is a song that'll have your heart soaring on any occasion – but we have a real soft spot for the all-island inclusiveness of Ireland's Call, too. C'mon – with lyrics like 'Ireland, Ireland, together standing tall / Shoulder to shoulder, we'll answer Ireland's call', how can you not feel a swell of pride in our little nation?

*

7. Italia '90 - 'Put Em Under Pressure'

Along similar lines, this is a song that'll bring you right back to the heady days of 1990 within the first few bars. Brilliantly utilising the iconic guitar riff from Horslips' 'An Dearg Doom', there'll never be another sporting anthem as good as this. C'mon, Ireland!

*

8. Christy Moore - 'Ride On'

We could have selected any one of Christy's extensive back catalogue, but this one is ideal for those days you're feeling miserable and only the most heartbreaking song will do (homesick ex-pats, we're looking at you). Written by Jimmy MacCarthy, it's a gorgeously wistful and evocative track.
 

*

9. Mary Black – 'No Frontiers' (or any Mary Black song)

Is it just us who had several Mary Black songs drilled into us in primary school? We have distinctive memories of being forced to learn 'Sonny' - but of all the Dublin folk legend's songs, this one in particular (again, written by Jimmy MacCarthy) has really stood the test of time. Mary sums up many peoples' childhoods with her distinctive Irish folk lilt, and this tune will have you weeping in seconds.

*

10. Mark McCabe - 'Maniac 2000'

Only in Ireland could a track like Maniac 2000 have been such a mega-hit, and that's precisely why we love it. If you try to explain the genius of the song to your non-Irish friends, they simply won't get it – but we're fine with keeping it as our patriotic little secret. Yeah, yeah, funky yeah.

*

11. The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - 'Fairytale of New York'

It doesn't need to be Christmas to understand the true meaning of this tune: national pride seeps from every note. Yeah yeah, forget the fact that technically, The Pogues weren't an Irish band – it mentions 'Galway Bay' and is perceived as a quintessential Irish tune, and that's good enough for us.

*

12. Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan - 'Rock 'n' Roll Kids'

Ahhhh... remember the 1990s, when Ireland actually used to win at the Eurovision? We had a good run, lads. And some of those songs have even stood the test of time, too – most notably this gem from 1994, which still never fails to bring a lump to our throat. That was the year that Riverdance debuted at the Eurovision interval, too... a good year all 'round.

*

13. B*witched - 'C'est La Vie'

Sorry, but it has to go in. Sometimes, you just gotta embrace the sheer ludicrousness of pop music and this song is a perfect example. Diddly-eye violins, double-denim, dodgy Irish dancing – if anyone else tried to pull it off, we'd have accusations of Paddywhackery at the ready. As it happens, we're kind of grudgingly proud of its enjoyable awfulness. And y'know, I fight like me da, as well.

*