View Full Version : Easy Celtic Tunes

May-20-2004, 11:51pm
Ive had posts asking recomendations for wedding songs to play, Now The Bride asked me to play just Celtic songs at the Wedding, its a Celtic Wedding I guess!
#I need some simple and easy Celtic songs to play, and fast because the weddings VERY soon...Thanks a Bunch!

Dagger Gordon
May-21-2004, 2:38am
I often play at weddings with a ceilidh band, but it's for dancing and it's in Scotland, so what we need to do is fairly clear cut. I have played during the ceremony a couple of times. Once was a tune I'd written for them (Cath & Kenny's wedding) and the other time we did Celtic hymn tunes (Be thou my vision etc).

There are several factors to take into account which are not clear from your post.
1. Are you playing in the church during the ceremony?
2. Is it some sort of background music at the reception before the dance?
3. Are you in fact playing the dance?
4. I'm not very sure what you mean by a 'Celtic wedding'. In the USA this might well have a different meaning from Scotland or Ireland. Somehow I have visions of a slightly new agey thing, possibly held outside on a beach or something, but that's probably completely wrong.

I seem to remember the editor Scott Tichenor saying he did a lot of weddings, for which he found O'Carolan tunes worked very well. Perhaps he might post and give you advice.

Keltic Fiddler
May-21-2004, 9:11am
I need some simple and easy Celtic songs to play, and fast because the weddings VERY soon...Thanks a Bunch!

How about a nice jig..like..Haste to the Wedding? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Sorry, I couldnt resist making a pun.

Actually I have played for a couple of Scottish Weddings here in America. I have used some O'Carolan tunes and they seemed to fit quite well.

mad dawg
May-21-2004, 11:07am
Seeing as how it is for a wedding, putting together a Whisk(e)y set might be appropriate. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

May-21-2004, 5:44pm
lol, Sorry I didnt mention a few things in the topic, Yes I am playing for the Reception, and I dont think they will have a dance.., and It might be an Irish wedding but, Irish,Celtic, Kinda the same things no?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Oh yeah, and The Bride came across *and overheard me* playing Chris Thiles, Fishers Hornpipe... AND She Wants me to play that one? I mean come on..Thats a good song, but short..and for a wedding?! Hmm..
I am playing one that I made up called 'Moonlight Bliss', but thats all I have, and If I dont hurry up and get some more songs the violinist will be upset...and trust me, you DO NOT want to get her upset...hah..

Dagger Gordon
May-22-2004, 12:27am
If you're playing for the reception, just play anything you like. You'll probably need quite a lot of stuff, but I can't see people worrying too much what it is.

May-22-2004, 10:45am
O'Carolan tunes could be good, if you don't want to play jig and reels all night (although, I would happily do that):

Si Beag, Si Mor
Planxty Irwin
Planxty Fanny Power
O'Carolan's Draught

Perhaps also:

The South Wind
Give Me Your Hand

Those are all fairly easy tunes except, perhaps, O'Carolan's Draught, which has some slightly awkward high bits in it. There's no harm in playing a few dance tunes (including The Fisher's Hornpipe and Haste to the Wedding - Why not?) - after all, nearly all the tunes I mentioned above are in 3/4 time, which could get terribly boring. Many dance tunes sound nice played at quite a sedate pace, so they won't necessarily give everyone indigestion.

May-23-2004, 5:55pm
im trying some O'Carolan tunes, The printer stopped printing after the 3rd page so I have to wait ! LOL

Jun-01-2004, 10:57am
I just thought of a nice topical one - The St. Kilda Wedding. It's a reel from the Hebrides, but it's a beautiful air when slowed down. Ossian recorded a nice moderately paced version of it.

Jun-01-2004, 11:19am
The aforementioned may not be the easiest tune to track down, so here's a link to where you can find it:


Jun-01-2004, 9:06pm
I Buried My Wife and Dance on Her Grave - classic wedding material http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jun-19-2004, 10:26am
Lark in the Morning (Jig)
Off She Goes (Jig)
The Silver Spear (Reel)
The Sligo Fancy (Hornpipe)
These are all relativly cheary tunes.:)

Martin Jonas
Jun-21-2004, 5:52am
I agree with the O'Carolan suggestion and would add "Eleanor Plunkett", "Blind Mary" and "Planxty Johnson" to the list of easy-to-play, yet impressive-sounding ones. To add variety to the dance tunes, I'd add some polkas (Dennis Murphy's, Egan's, Bluebell and Primrose are great) and some ceilidh standards like The Dashing White Sergeant. Waltzes are very popular for weddings and as they are usually played much slower than jigs or reels, it's easier to play them from the sheet without having to learn every tune by heart. Try Inisheer, Midwinter's Waltz (both at Co-Mando), Tom Bhetty's Waltz or Ashokan Farewell (not Celtic, but will fit in just fine).