Newfie tunes for your jiggin' pleasure

12 Popular Newfie Tunes For Your Jigging Pleasure

Some of the most popular comments on Cailin’s video in Newfoundland were about the music she featured by The Fables.

You probably figured out that the music scene in Newfoundland and Labrador is heavily influenced by the Irish. At any night during the week, there’s at least one Irish-influenced band playing somewhere.

My favourite nights out are when some friends and I hit up the Irish pubs for some fiddle music and classic Newfie tunes, the kinda music that just feels like home. Here’s some of the best.

Peter Street – The Fables

My favourite song by The Fables. Can’t beat that fiddle.

There’s Gonna be a Time Tonight – The Fables

Seriously, how can you not dance? This one reminds me of high school dances.

Heave Away – The Fables

But now we’re bound for old St. John’s where all the girls are dancing!

Candlelight and Wine – The Punters

Probably my all-time favourite. Reminds me of warm summer nights and dancing at the local pub.

Grey Foggy Day — Eddie Coffey

This is REAL Newfoundland music, not Irish. Notice the insane stress on some of the words. Lots of story-telling. Makes me want to waltz with some senior citizens.

The Rose in Her Hair – Simani

Another real Newfoundland song, same waltz style, sad little story about courtship. Like New Years with lots of tinsel.

Mary Mac – Great Big Sea

Great Big Sea kinda became a big deal, most people have at least heard of them. But their old stuff? Now that’s golden. Try to keep up.

Also, if you ever get to see these guys in concert, DO IT. They’re bloody fantastic.

Ron Hynes – Sonny’s Dream

I wish I had an original of this song, because it’s amazing. Hynes played this song while opening for Steve Miller Band last week. I later saw the two girls in front of me who were so drunk they kept dancing on their chairs hitting on him at a pub.

It’s in the lyrics:

Sonny’s dreams can’t be real, they’re just stories he’s read
They’re just stars in his eyes, they’re just dreams in his head
And he’s hungry inside for the wide world outside
And I know I can’t hold him though I’ve tried and I’ve tried

Oh, Sonny don’t go away, I am here all alone
And your daddy’s a sailor who never comes home
And the nights get so long and the silence goes on
And I’m feeling so tired, I’m not all that strong

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers – Saltwater Joys

Most people love this one. You’ll find nostalgia is a common thread in all these songs. Plus, man, check out that accent.

This island that we cling to has been handed down with pride
By folks that fought to live here, taking hardships all in stride
So I’ll compliment her beauty, hold on to my goodbyes
And I’ll stay and take my chances with those saltwater joys.

Shanneyganock – I Had a Hat

Just a super fun song. I had a hat when I came in, and I hung it on the rack, and I’ll have a hat when I go out or I’ll break somebody’s back!

Great Big Sea – The Night Paddy Murphy Died

This is about as Irish as it gets.

The Fables – St. John’s

This song is SO HARD TO FIND, and I have no idea why. There’s a good day comin’ when you lay your head in St. John’s.


Coming to Newfoundland? Check out my Newfoundland guidebook, available soon.

  • June 19 2010

    fabulous post :) almost had me up and dancing in my living room… but I’m on call, so I’m afraid to have too much fun ;)

    • June 21 2010

      Hahaha, I know, while listening I kept feeling inspired to go out dancing. Instead, I was writing blog entries on a Friday night. Sigh.

    • November 25 2017

      Sorry..TO MUCH FUN… I as an Alberta Boy….have not got there yet.. WORKIN ON IT THOUGH -{:-) –

  • June 21 2010

    As soon as I get home I’m listening to these. Anything that sounds remotely Irish is awesome in my books!

  • June 21 2010

    Whoah whoa whoa!!!!!! You use to listen to Fiddle music at high school dances?!?!?! WTF?????? hahahahahaha silly newfies!

    • June 21 2010

      Oh man, nothin’ like grinding to some fiddle music!

  • June 22 2010

    I love Sonny’s Dream.

    • June 23 2010

      Oh, I’m so glad! It’s one of my favourites.

  • September 07 2010

    That’s Ray Lake singing “gonna be a time tonight” not the Fables. It’s an original written and performered by Ray.

  • September 18 2010
    Josh Taylor

    These tunes are all favs of mine. Thanks for putting them up here.

    Living in Ireland now but I alway miss home!

    – Josh
    Native of Grand Falls – Windsor, NL

    • September 20 2010

      Aww, glad to hear! And if anywhere is close to home, it`s Ireland. ;)

  • January 06 2011

    Hey there Candice, got a little bored just now and went checking out where my video referrals and embeddings were coming from when I stumbled upon your blog.

    Glad to see someone promoting Newfie music to the world, particularly the Punters video as I don’t believe they’re too well known outside of the island despite their great talent.

    As for a Sonny’s Dream original, I recently uploaded a recording of the song, if this is what you’re looking for:

    I think I have a Great Big Sea cover floating around here somewhere as well.

    • January 10 2011

      Hey, thanks for that! Some of those videos are hard to track down. I’m sure there’s a dozen more I could add to the list as well. Glad you stopped by!

  • April 18 2015
    gloria (Little) Sproule

    HI-MY NAMES GLORIA-never had the pleasure of getting down to Newfoundland-from up here in Ont. But hung around with a lot of great Newfies- went 2 a lot of bars with good Newfie bands- (Derrick- Pilgram- Nick Nolan- and such– i have a good friend down in Newfoundland- wants me 2 come down for a visit- if i can get over the fear of flying!! I told her “if i ever get down there-need 2 go to a kitchen party–

  • November 10 2015
    Des Burke

    Love the Newfie music and the Newfie scenery.

    Makes me HOMESICK.


  • January 27 2016
    Derm walsh

    They play grey foggy day every night at nfld club in Dartmouth nova scotia

    • January 28 2016

      I love how all the pubs in Halifax consistently play Newfoundland music!

  • January 27 2016
    Derm walsh

    Great music

  • May 27 2016

    I’ve always loved fiddle music, and Irish fiddle music is probably some of my favorite. I’ve only listened to a few of the songs that you included, but I’ve loved every single one of them! Now all I want to do for the rest of the day is look up Irish folk songs to listen to! Thanks for sharing some of your favorite music.
    Hazel Owens recently posted…Michael Daly Launches New Website with Release of “Westward Ho!”

  • March 08 2017

    I have played music in the Halifax & Dartmouth area since 1969. The Newfoundland Club in Halifax is closed but the one in Dartmouth is still open. My band, “Bay City” play there once a month. Newfoundland, Irish, Country, Rock & Roll and Cape Breton music. We are celebrating Newfoundland joining Canada on April 1st, 2017. What a party that will be.

  • June 06 2018

    I’m in school right now and i got bored so now listening to these. love these songs

  • December 30 2018

    Awesome playlist and thank you! Great to play and have all the family dancing!

    Ray Pawlak
    Geneva, IL USA

    • January 11 2019

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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