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Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories, the virtual Public House for Celtic culture and change through music.

I am Marc Gunn. I play Sci F'Irish music. I want to take you on an adventure. I'll share the stories behind my songs as we explore pop culture media through the lens of Irish & Celtic music. You will have fun and sing along, and maybe get a far too real glimpse of yourself.




Feb 18, 2019

If it wasn't for America, the traditional music of Ireland might no longer exist. America saved Irish music. That's the premise behind my 2014 album I recorded with Jamie Haeuser, How America Saved Irish Music.

I expected more of a backlash when I released the album title that was a parody of the book How the Irish Saved Civilization. I only got one nasty email.

I started immersing myself in Irish music in 1999. I learned a lot about Irish culture and music over the years. The Irish were forced out of Ireland. Their music traveled around the globe. It integrated with other cultures. Eventually, it found its way home.

When it did, it had changed. Blossomed and grew, yes. But changed as well

We all know that the jigs and reels are the backbone of Irish tunes. But underneath it, I heard something fascinating. It was the similarities between Irish and American rhythm.

The guitar was the clue. American guitarists changed music around the world. Listen to any guitarist playing Irish music and you will hear American rock-n-roll as its rhythmic backbone.

Irish guitar is rock-n-roll guitar underneath a reel and a jig.

This makes a little more sense when you think of Irish songs like "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye". That's the Irish version of the American Civil War song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home". The Irish took a great American melody and gave it their own twist.

In a sense, How America Saved Irish Music is nothing new. Jamie Haeuser and I fused American rhythm, jazz, and blues to Irish immigration songs to create our own exploration of the Irish musical diaspora.

You'll hear the entire album this episode of the podcast, plus an interview with Jamie Haeuser.

Welcome to the Pub Songs Podcast, the virtual Public House for Celts and geeks to share music and celebrate our differences. We're making the world a happier place through conversation, education, and kindness.  If you have comments and want to chat in the pub, email me. Use #PubSongs when talking about this show. Cead mile failte!


1:26 A Stor Mo Chroi

3:45 Star of the County Down

7:30 Gypsy Rover

10:50 Men of New Basin Canal

14:04 Bridget's Prayer

16:12 Ais Vis Lo Lop

19:04 Black Velvet Band

22:38 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

25:22 Streets of Laredo/Bard of Armagh

28:41 Whiskey, You're the Devil

31:08 Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot

34:11 Mrs. McGraw

37:20 Leaving of Liverpool

40:25 Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye

44:23 PUB CHAT
I want your feedback. What are you doing today while listening to the Pub Songs Podcast? What do you remember most from one of my recent shows? Or from another show you've seen? Send a written comment along with any pictures to Use the hashtag #pubsongs in the subject of your email. Or post a comment, along with your review, on Apple Podcasts.

grizztopher80 posted a picture on Instagram: "Trying to enjoy the weather despite the pollen."

How have I helped you?  How have I inspired you?

45:15 NEWS

  • If you ever thought about playing the autoharp, I have an Autoharp Tutorial that is now on YouTube.

45:29 COMMENTARY: How America Saved Irish Music

Marc Gunn plays autoharp and sings. Jamie Haeuser plays bodhran and sings. Violin and manolin by Sick. Katie Haeuser provides background vocals.

The albums was recorded by T.J. Barends at Sir-Reel Studios. The Gunns & Drums logo and graphic design were by Charles Davis. Back cover photo by Katie Haeuser at the Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City.

53:26 A Stor Mo Chroi (Brian O'Higgins)

56:07 Star of the County Down (traditional)

1:00:40 Gypsy Rover (Leo Maguire)

1:06:15 Men of New Basin Canal (Jamie Haeuser and Marc Gunn)


1:29:00 Bridget's Prayer (Jamie Haeuser and Marc Gunn)

1:31:03 Ais Vis Lo Lop (traditional)

1:34:07 Black Velvet Band (traditional)

1:39:18 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)

1:43:08 Streets of Laredo/Bard of Armagh (traditional)

1:47:23 Whiskey, You're the Devil (traditional)

1:50:46 Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot (traditional)

1:55:38 Mrs. McGraw (traditional)

1:58:40 Leaving of Liverpool (traditional)

2:02:51 Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye (traditional)


The Pub Songs Podcast is listener-supported. Your generous pledge of as little as $1 or more per month allows me to create music and podcasts for your enjoyment. Special thanks to my new patrons:

If you enjoy visiting the pub, please join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. You’ll get episodes before regular listeners, free albums, podcasts,  videos and lots more. Go to to join the Gunn Runners today.

2:10:07 "The Parting Glass" by The Selkie Girls from Parting Glass

If you enjoy the music in this show, support the artists. Buy their music and merch. Follow them on Spotify. Let them know how much you love what they are doing. And tell a friend.

Pub Songs Podcast was produced by Marc Gunn. To subscribe, go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify or to my website where you can join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon and support my music and this podcast. I’ll also email regular updates of new videos, podcasts, stories behind the songs, plus 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub!