The YouTube channel of Gaeltacht school Coláiste Lurgan is replete with music videos re-interpreting popular songs in Ireland’s native tongue. These videos have become more ambitious and impressive with each new production, with the latest instalment notching up more than 1.5m views on the video network.
The school is located in Indreabhán, in the Irish-speaking area of Connemara, Co Galway and the videos are an innovative way to connect younger generations with their mother tongue. The focus is on ‘Gaeilge gan eagla’ and the college has a well-stocked YouTube channel hosting its TG Lurgan-branded music videos and more, and is also active on Facebook and Twitter.
Though well-produced, the videos are all completed on a voluntary basis and are a result of the hard work of the staff and students of Coláiste Lurgan and local professionals who offer their assistance free of charge.
To celebrate Coláiste Lurgan’s success at making the Irish language too cool for school, we have selected our top 5 hits from the TG Lurgan catalogue.
Lig Mé Saor (Wake Me Up)
This track from Swedish producer and DJ Avicii is Coláiste Lurgan’s biggest viral hit to date, with views over 1.5m. The original track featuring Aloe Blacc on vocals is still popular on dancefloors across the country and the Gaeltacht school invoked the nightclub vibes for this colourful video. With Stiofán Ó Fearail from Irish band Seo Linn taking the lead along with traditional Irish musicians and, of course, lyrics as Gaeilge, the club hit takes new shape. There’s even a quick jig that shuns the traditional garb in favour of white coveralls flecked with day-glo paint. It’s like an episode of The Gaeltacht: Uncovered!
An Chéad Chéim Ar Aghaidh (One Step Beyond)
The 1979 music video for Madness’ One Step Beyond is recreated Gaelgoir-style, complete with an adapted intro encouraging us all to become more familiar with the language. As if we didn’t already think Coláiste Lurgan was the place to be for a cúrsa craiceáilte, this video proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt, with an excellent performance by that fez hat.
An tÁdh ’Nocht (Get Lucky)
The feel-good hit of the summer, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, is reimagined for the Irish language focusing more on good times than necessarily getting down. We love this original video where two robotic outsiders find each other at the summer school disco. Complete with some classic dance moves like The Sprinkler.
Mil Tada (Sweet Nothing)
The students of Coláiste Lurgan aren’t afraid to take on out-of-this-world vocalists and here they try out Calvin Harris’ Sweet Nothing, originally sung by Florence Welch. The video depicts a major dispute between two tribes and it’s a mud fight to the death. It looks like a ball was had filming this one, and luckily there was a picturesque lake nearby for everyone to clean up and reconcile their differences.
Tóg Amach Mé (Wagon Wheel)
A bit of a departure from the pop hits, this Old Crow Medicine Show song has been covered by a few artists in its time, including Mumford & Sons this year. Coláiste Lurgan has a unique take on the song with a bevy of instruments played by students – and it doesn’t get more Irish than a tin whistle solo.