In the vast pantheon of Irish Ballads, there are those you almost never hear, those that are quite common, and those that have been done so often you may never want to hear them again, or at least you’ll want to give them a rest for a while. That said , almost all of them are played with a handful of pretty standard chords.
If you aspire to building a repertoire of songs for playing in the company of your fellow music lovers, you might consider picking a few from each category. To start, let’s take a look at one that is quite common in the repertoire.
The Leaving of Liverpool
The Leaving of Liverpool is a song well embedded in the tradition, and if played in a C or G chord shape, you can very effectively accent the melody notes as well as keep a chord accompaniment going, much like Maybelle Carter’s style of playing melody on the bass strings.
Here’s a quick video of the first few bars to illustrate the point:
It’s a great, strong song with a sing-along chorus- which can come in handy in a crowd.
Stay tuned for some more song examples.