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8 Donegal Songs for the All-Ireland Football Final
It's been 20 years since Donegal brought home the Sam Maguire as All-Ireland Senior Football Champions, but with their place in the final secured for 23 September, die-hard fans have been raising their voices in song.
We've collected some of the best fan-made rallying cries – most of which are centred on the main man, leader, commander and brains behind the operation, Jimmy McGuinness.
Here's eight of the best:
Jimmy's Winning Matches
When former frontman of Irish band The Revs recorded a Donegal-themed variant of his track 'Jimmy's Selling Watches', he probably didn't expect it to clock up 260,000 views, be sung in Croke Park, be arranged for tin whistle, and be re-recorded, covered, and remixed again.
Recorded on a beach in Lanzarote with the help of Jimmy from Senegal, the upbeat rhythm is pretty memorable!
The Boys From Donegal
'There's just one thing – I cannot play them all' begins this track from Pat Kelly, making clear how he feels about the team's talent. It's a classic country-style sound with a Donegal twist.
Boys in Gold and Green
We are the boys in gold and green,
The best wee team you've ever seen.
They said we hadn't a fiddler's chance
But we led them on a merry dance.
Borrowing a little from 'the boys in green' from the national soccer team's Euro 88 song, this track is more blues-driven than the others, with a rockabilly backing:
Walking Tall in Donegal
This classic from 1992 – the last time Donegal won the Sam Maguire – was immensely popular at the time, but has largely been forgotten. The only online version is this VCR footage, showing footage of the celebrations during the championship and the vocals of Margo O'Donnell.
But the Donegal News reports that Margo is set to release an updated version, after being inundated with calls.
Hi Sir! The Donegal Song
This odd entry has an easy chorus to remember – 'Donegal, Donegal, Donegal...' sung to the tune of 'Stars and Stripes Forever' or, if you're a football fan, the chant 'Here We Go'.
Bring Home Sam (2012)
Ballyshannon man Cyril Brennan wrote this song with the proceeds going to charity – and he's never had his faith in the team shaken.
We've done our best, and we've past the test,
And you don't seem to see,
Donegal's the team for Sam it is plain to me.
I don't swear we're underdogs,
I put a bet on straight.
But you treat us like a back door-team
When we stand at the gate.
A Donegal Dream
This acoustic effort was put forth by Eamonn O'Regan with drums and a tin whistle solo.
Reach for your star,
Remember what you are
You are the crewmen
Of a Donegal dream.
Come on Sam Maguire
If we win the Sam Maguire,
We're going to make you king
We'll party back to Donegal,
And this is what we'll sing.
Every song pays tribute to Jim McGuinness as manager, but this song plans to forge a kingdom of Donegal with McGuinness at its head. With fiddle, bodhrán and accordion, it's got the whole ensemble to offer.
Donegal definitely has the edge on Mayo so far in the singing stakes. Of course, it's the football that matters, but the vocal contest is bound to heat up in the build-up to the final.
Have you seen any Mayo songs we should know about? Get in touch and let us know!