Are you Irish or do you wish you were? If you’re thinking about adding a Celtic touch to your wedding ceremony, take a look at this list of Irish wedding pieces!
I compiled a YouTube playlist that follows along with this list, and you can listen as you read:
Si Bheag Si Mor (Processional)
And so the harper was told these fairy tales, Of these fairy hills of the ancient Gaels, One big one small Si Bheag Si Mhor, And never the battle is won.
This is a lovely tune written by Turlough O’Carolan, one of the most famous harpers of all time. Mark Harmer, the harpist in this particular version, does a wonderful job of imitating bagpipes with the repeated chords in the bass. With the clear melody singing above, this piece sounds whimsical and stately all at once.
Give Me Your Hand (Processional)
By day and night, Through all struggle and strife, And beside you, to guide you, Forever, my love. For love’s not for one, But for both of us to share. For our country so fair, For our world and what’s there.”
This love song is both beautiful and soft, yet it builds to a triumphant finish.
The Star of the County Down (Processional)
From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay, From Galway to Dublin town, No maid I’ve seen like the sweet coleen, That I met in the County Down.
This is my favorite song. When someone asks me to sit down and play something, this is the piece I choose. I love the fact that it can be played as both a waltz and a reel.
Be Thou My Vision (Unity Candle or Special Music)
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”
Lovely hymn with lovely words. This tune just soars. I find that it occasionally provokes tears, in the best way.
Blessing, by Katie Moran Bart (Unity Candle or Special Music)
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Of all the melodies written to accompany this wonderful Irish blessing, this tune is my favorite. It is beautiful with or without words.
Carrickfergus (Unity Candle or Special Music)
I wish I was in Carrickfergus, Only for nights in Ballygrand, I would swim over the deepest ocean, The deepest ocean for my love to find.”
This piece is actually quite sad but also peaceful. Beautiful, clear flute by James Galway with The Chieftains.
Mari’s Wedding (Recessional)
Step we gaily, on we go
Heel for heel and toe for toe,
Arm in arm and row on row
All for Mairi’s wedding.”
So upbeat and a great way to celebrate on your way down the isle.
Carolan’s Concerto (Recessional)
Another tune written by O’Carolan. This one is definitely Irish, nice and quick, but also has a slightly more refined feel due to a strong Baroque influence.
Road to Lisdoonvarna/Morrison’s Jig (Recessional)
Pull out the stops and dance down the isle to this fantastic set of jigs. Nothing’s more likely to make your guests kick up their heels than these Irish dance tunes.
I hope this list was helpful as you looked for wedding ceremony music ideas! If you enjoyed this article, you might also like: A Harpist: One of the Better Wedding Decisions You’ll Make. Do you know of other Irish songs that would be great in a wedding? Leave me a comment below and I will add it to the list! Don’t forget to share this article with other brides that love Ireland too!
If you’re looking for live harp music for your wedding ceremony in Minnesota, send me a message for a free quote.