Christy Moore is truly one of Ireland’s greatest gifts to music. He’s got 21 studio albums, and four live albums spanning over 50 years! His live versions of songs are seriously some of the best songs out there. The way he plays, sings, shouts, tells stories, and interacts with the crowd is so unique.
On the Road, his live album which includes songs from gigs recorded at 17 different venues in Ireland, England, and Scotland, are some of my personal favorites! But definitely don’t sleep on Live At The Point or even Live At Vicar St.
- Welcome to the Cabaret (Live At The Point). A perfect opener as it was on this Live album. Great introductions and really sets the tone for the rest of the concert.
- Lisdoonvarna (Live At Vicar St). Maybe one of his most popular songs that’s easy to sing along with the chorus, so the crowd can really get into the show now. Also I love how he goes into “Tell Me Ma” towards the end! Christy says in a different Live album that this song was written for Eurovision in ’78. I actually don’t know if that’s true or not, but I like to think it is.
- Fairytale of New York (Live At The Point). Everyone knows The Pogues version, but I often wish more people knew Christy’s version, particularly this one. I had only heard his version of this song on this album for so long, until one day I realized he recorded it in studio and only did it live a couple times. This still holds to be his best version in my opinion. The story at the start is all time, “then I sang a song and he put on the jukebox”.
- Delirium Tremens (Live At The Point). These two songs go back-to-back on LATP, and it’s so perfect. Especially because he goes right into another great story about the next day.
- Ride On (Live At Vicar St.). Love how in this version he lets the crowd sing at the end. Fun fact, I saw Coldplay cover this song at Gillette a few years back which was awesome.
- Bright Blue Rose (On the Road). This is a beautiful song and I was first introduced to it by this barman singing it. Shout out Mary Black too who sings it very well!
- Knock (Live At The Point). Pretty funny satirical story at the start of this version about the airport and the Virgin Mary appearing there.
- Casey (Live At The Point). This is a song about disgraced former bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh from 1976 to 1992. I think if you were just casually listening to it, you’d have no idea, and you’d just be focused on how much fun he seems to be having singing this.
- Viva la Quinte Brigada (On the Road). Just a raucous, awesome, lively version that the crowd gets so much credit.
- Nancy Spain (On the Road). Beautiful song. They can’t all be wild and fun/funny.
- Black is the Color (Live At The Point). Certainly a toss-up between this version and On the Road. OTR has a great harmonica to start and the song ends with a couple instruments goin for about a minute. But LATP was the first version of this song I ever heard, and I’ve always loved it.
- Sonny’s Dream (Live In Dublin 2006). Some might say three slow songs in a row wouldn’t be a good idea- á bhuel, déanfaidh sé cúis, I say. You can’t not have this song. Couple good versions of this lovely mother/son song.
- Joxer Goes to Stuttgart (Live At The Point). One of my favorite songs of his. It’s so interesting how a lot of his songs are just stories set to music. This one is about a fan named Joxer who attends an Ireland national soccer game in Germany. Apparently, it’s sung to the tune of the Match of the Day theme music.
- Rose of Tralee (Collection Part Two). This is kind of long, but it’s a decently funny story.
- If I Get an Encore (On the Road) I like thinking about having a song entirely dedicated to what you’d do IF you got an encore.
- The Sun Is Burning (The Iron Behind The Velvet). The only studio recorded song on this list, but that’s only because I couldn’t find it live. This is an excellent cover of a Simon & Garfunkel song that Luke Kelly probably does best.
- Weekend in Amsterdam (On the Road). Probably the funniest song in his repertoire.
- North & South (On the Road). Couple great versions, but this is the best one I think. Crowd is really into it and I find it to be a really perfect concert closer.
Apologies for not linking up any Youtube videos of these songs, I’d just suggest checking them out on Spotify!