Northern Ireland


Due to the complicated politics of Northern Ireland, an area governed by the United Kingdom on the island of Ireland (and populated by people of Irish and Scottish descent), anthems of both of those countries are used by their respective communities to indicate allegiance. For several sporting events, particularly when Northern Ireland players compete on the same team as players from the Republic of Ireland, neutral songs such as Phillip Coulter’s “Ireland’s Call” is used. For other events where Northern Ireland competes individually, such as the Commonwealth Games, the local song “A Londonderry Air” is used as its anthem.

The melody of “A Londonderry Air” is considered traditional. It was first published by Jane Ross of County Londonderry (known as County Derry by Catholics) in what is now Northern Ireland, which may explain the name. Various words have been given to it, most famously the song “Danny Boy”. The tune was first called “Londonderry Air” in 1894 when Katherine Tynan Hinkson set the words of her “Irish Love Song” poem to the tune.

Special thanks to: Reinhard Popp for informing me of this anthem and providing the music file.