The Way to Tír na nÓg – A Celtic…

Music. It really does make the world spin… on the dancefloor.

If I wasn’t a novelist, maybe I’d be a singer (you know… if I could actually sing and if stage-fright wasn’t a very real thing).

I’m not going to say anything new here – you all know the deal. The mood we are in dictates the music we listen to, and also the music we listen to dictates our mood. Freaky, right?

When I’m writing, I usually play some mood-enhancing tunes, either on YouTube cast to the TV with the volume turned down low enough that it isn’t distracting, or from Spotify on the Google Nest speaker in my office.

In fact, I’ve created a playlist on Spotify with  almost 4 hours of Irish-themed or Celtic-sounding songs that rotate through all the epic battle moods or love scenes as I write them.

You can listen to the playlist on Spotify by clicking here.

And here’s a run down of some of the tracks that made the cut, and why they’re there…

Singing out loud

celticwomanThe Hills of Ireland by Celtic Woman

I adore this group. The Hills of Ireland starts with such a haunting melody that it lulls you into a false sense of security. All too soon the fiddles start and you can’t help it, your foot starts to tap. It’s very Riverdance-esque in nature.

EnyaOnly Time by Enya

What? You didn’t think I’d create a Celtic playlist and not include Enya? Seriously? Only Time is one of Enya’s more popular tracks and it’s easy to see why. She gives me goosebumps with her haunting vocals.

BraveheartBraveheart by Celtic Spirit

Okay, okay, I know it’s not Irish, but it’s definitely Celtic. And who doesn’t love Braveheart?

Alanis_Morissette_-_The_CollectionThe Prayer Circle by Alanis Morissette

This one strictly isn’t Celtic at all, but I adore the sound of it. It’s almost druidic in style. It’s part religious, part tribal. And altogether haunting.

celticharpKing of the Fairies by Maidens of the Celtic Harp

Ah, the harp; one of those odd instruments that nobody admits to loving but everyone loves all the same. This happy little ditty helps to inject some airy steps into my writing.

caradillonFil, Fil a Run Ó by Cara Dillon

What is an Irish music playlist without a track sung in Irish? Cara Dillon (who, interestingly, was born and raised not too far up the road from me!) has such a haunting voice. Fil, Fil a Run Ó (meaning “Come back, come back my love”) is one of those a cappella songs that doesn’t just pull at your heartstrings, it claws at them and doesn’t let go until you are torn to shreds. If you come across a particularly sad death scene in my novels, chances are I’ve just been listening to Cara Dillon.

Head over to Spotify now and take a listen to these and the complete playlist of over 60 tracks – or just hit “PLAY” below.

Peter J Merrigan
Peter J Merrigan was first published at the age of 17 in the Simon & Schuster anthology, Children of the Troubles. He has studied extensively and maintains a passion for pre-Christian Ireland. He is the author of the Ailigh Wars Saga novels, set in Iron Age Ireland.