Learning Irish step dancing can be a very fun and exciting hobby, as well as good exercise. You can also learn a lot about the Irish people, the culture and traditions, and about the music. In fact, you cannot learn Irish step dancing properly if you do not learn about famous Irish folk songs to which the dances are frequently performed. While the words are not present during a dance and only the instrumentals are played, learning the lyrics to these songs may help you memorize where and when in the songs you are supposed to be side-stepping, hopping up, reeling and leaping. The following five songs, and the dances for which you might use the songs, will help you on your way to becoming the next lady or lord of the dance.
Jigs and Folk Songs
Mill Pond is a very popular folk song for jigs. It is so popular in fact, that you have probably already heard it in one of your step-dancing classes without even realizing it. It is a very lively Irish tune, perfect for a jig dance. The lyrics (not surprisingly, given the upbeat nature of the music) are quite amusing, and relate a tale of things that happened at a mill pond on a warm afternoon.
Maid Behind the Bar, despite the fact that it is definitely about a barmaid, is still a lively enough tune for a jig. The lyrics have a bit of that Irish naughtiness that comes with the references of barmaids, so you may not want to sing it out loud when you learn it unless you are in the company of people who wouldn't mind. Being an old tavern song, it is still popular in Irish taverns, especially after a few rounds of ale. However, that does not mean you cannot use the instrumental version for Irish step dancing.
Reels and Folk Songs
Reel songs are most appropriate when you are performing Irish step dancing in a group.
St. Anne's Reel tells a story about St. Anne, the mother to Mary, the bearer of Jesus. As you listen, you can hear all of the little spots where your dance team is supposed to spin and then lock arms for a dance line.
The Drunken Landlady is another humorous tavern ballad-turned-Irish reel. The mere mention of this song to someone who is full-blooded Irish will probably make him or her chuckle, and if you get a chance to read the lyrics, you will probably chuckle as well. If you choose to learn and use this song in your dance, you may have to learn how to keep a straight face after learning the words and music. Learn more about famous Irish folk songs before you go dancing the next time.Share