Irish classic ‘Grace’ has 145,000% increase in streams on Paddy’s Day, as researchers reveal which Irish songs will make beer taste sweet, sour or bitter

Paris, March 15th, 2024 – The Irish songs that see the biggest increase in music streams in the UK on St Patrick’s Day have been revealed by global music streaming platform Deezer.

‘Grace’ – sang by Aoife Scott, Roisin O’Reilly and Danny O’Reilly – saw a huge 145,000 percent increase in music streams.

Followed by ‘Four Green Fields’ by Sarah Moore with 17,600 percent increase in streams and The Woolfe Tone’s ‘My Heart is in Ireland’ with a 7,566 percent increase.

The Chieftain’s ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ had the fourth biggest increase in plays (3,914 percent) and Paddy Casey’s Saint and Sinners had the fifth (3,675 percent).

The other songs in the top 10 include Irish classics like ‘The Galway Girl’ by Sharon Shannon and Steve Earles, ‘An Irish Pub Song’ by The Rumjacks and ‘Drunken Sailor’ by The Irish Rovers.

And it turns out, the music listened to on St. Paddy’s Day could have a big impact on how good your beer of choice tastes according to researchers.  

Professor Felipe Reinoso Carvalho – whose joint study ‘Music Influences Hedonic and Taste Ratings in Beer’ was published in Frontiers in Psychology – revealed which Irish songs could make your beer taste sweeter, bitterer or sourer. 

Felipe commented “Certain frequency ranges, tempos, timbres, and harmonies, are associated by our brains with flavour attributes such as the sweetness, bitterness, sourness and perceived body and strength of the beer being drank.

“Mid to high frequency ranges with steady musical tempos and clean, consistent, major harmonies together with happy feelings being brought by music, typically makes the brain feel the beer is sweeter. But enjoying the same beer whilst listening to a sad song, with lower frequency ranges and intense, complex compositions can make it taste bitter. And sourness is associated with high pitched, random sounds – like drum cymbals.”

Discussing Deezer’s data for beer drinkers who struggle with bitterness Felipe continued “I would definitely go for Orinoco by Enya and ‘What Can I Do’ by The Corrs, as songs that will make my beer taste sweeter. The Wind That Shakes The Barley by The Chieftains is another song that has specific instrumentation and musical attributes that will make most people perceive their beer as sweeter”

For those who prefer a bitter beer he says “I would listen to songs like Drunken Sailor by The Irish Rovers, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. These kinds of instrumentals and musical compositions are far likelier enhance the perceived bitterness of the beer being drank.  

“Whereas going for something to make my beer taste sourer, I’d definitely go for a song like Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly.”

Talking specifically about Guinness, Felipe continued “Guinness already has a lot of body to begin with. But I love my beers bitter. So, to enhance that body and perception of alcohol percentage and bitterness, I’d choose to listen to one of my favourite artists in the world, Sinead O’Connor. And I’d go for some 90’s alternative rock like the Cranberries’ Zombie – the super heavy guitar and strong emotions are likely to make my Guinness taste even heavier, bitter and strong”.

“With great music playing over St Patrick’s Day making that Guinness taste even better, it’s easy to get carried away, so needless to say it’s important to drink responsibly.” 

Also commenting on Deezer’s data, Senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Lincoln UK, Dr Annemieke van den Tol, explained the relationship between beer and music on St. Patrick’s Day further “I would predict that people will prefer drinking Guinness (or other typical Irish beers) over non-Irish beer when hearing traditional Irish music, or other popular Irish songs on St Patrick day. I also suspect that Irish Beer tastes the best when accompanied with Irish music on St Patrick day!

“This is because of two psychological phenomena. The first is priming. This is the idea that exposure to one stimulus may influence a response to a subsequent stimulus, without conscious guidance or intention. In this line of research, it was shown that exposure to German music increased how many German wine bottles people bought in a wine shop, where exposure to French music did this for French wine.

“The second psychological phenomena is musical fit. Our brains function better when things are as we expect them to be or are well put together, such as when music fits. People are willing to pay more for their drinks when the music in a bar or restaurant fits the décor and types of foods being sold.

Deezer is disrupting the music sector, earlier this month it delivered record results, growing its revenue and subscribers as it aims to achieve cashflow breakeven this year. 

It comes after the recent launch of its Artist Centric Payment System, the first major change to royalty payments since the inception of streaming – which aims to better protect and reward artists. 

It also leads the way on highly advanced fraud detection systems – and offers superior sound quality via HiFi streaming, which rival Spotify does not.

Top 20 Irish songs that saw the greatest increase in plays on St. Patrick’s Day 2023 (Deezer streaming data comparing songs 16th March vs 17th March 2023)

  1. Aoife Scott, Roisin O, Danny O’Reilly – Grace 145,000% increase
  2. Sarah Moore – Four Green Fields 17,600% increase
  3. The Wolfe Tones – My Heart is in Ireland 7,566% increase
  4. The Chieftains – The Wind That Shakes The Barley, 3,914% increase
  5. Paddy Casey – Saints & Sinners 3,675% increase
  6. Sharon Shannon, Steve Earle – The Galway Girl 3,400% increase
  7. The Rumjacks – An Irish Pub Song 3,154% increase
  8. The Irish Rovers – Drunken Sailor 2,050% increase
  9. Paddy Reilly – The Fields of Athenry 2,023% increase
  10. The High Kings – Irish Pub Song 1,723% increase
  11. The Dubliners – Molly Malone 1,531% increase
  12. The Dubliners- Seven Drunken Nights 1,442% increase
  13. Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies           1,432% increase
  14. The Chieftains, Sinéad O’Connor – The Foggy Dew 1,431% increase
  15. Christy Moore – Ride On 1,308% increase
  16. Luke Kelly – Raglan Road 1,131% increase
  17. The Clancy Brothers – Beer, Beer, Beer 1,100% increase
  18. The Pogues – Dirty Old Town 1,050% increase
  19. The Pogues – If I Should Fall from Grace with God 888% increase
  20. The Corrs – What Can I Do 830% increase

*** ENDS ***

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About the data

Irish songs that saw the greatest increase in plays on St. Patrick’s Day 2023 (16th March vs 17th March 2023)