- Patrick Dorsey, ESPN Editor
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UEFA Euro 2012, one of soccer's top international competitions, kicks off June 8. In anticipation of this eagerly awaited event, Playbook is teaming up with ESPN FC to offer sights and other delights from each participating nation.
Ireland fans have reason to sing in 2012: It's the nation's first Euro since 1988.
And sing these Irish fans are doing, producing a vast selection of unofficial Euro (and one official) anthems and videos to send their boys off to Poland and Ukraine.
Here's a small sample; if we posted them all, music-hungry fans might miss Ireland's first match.
"The Rocky Road to Poland" -- Ireland's official tune, written by "Ray D'Arcy Show" listeners and recorded by Damien Dempsey, Bressie, Danny O'Reilly (Coronas) and The Dubliners (John Sheehan, Barney McKenna, Eamonn Campbell, Patsy Watchorn; they recorded the song on which this is based, "The Rocky Road to Dublin").
"We're On Our Way" -- by Mahoney. Available on iTunes; proceeds go to the Lauralynn Children's Hospice Foundation.
"Ireland All the Way" sung by Andy Bennett, with words and music by Keith Myers; available on iTunes, with proceeds going to Temple Street Children's University Hospital.
"The Rockier Road to Poland" -- by The Aftermath, Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, Tom Creagh and Nenagh accordionist Rachel Ray, among others. Available on iTunes; all profits go to The Simon Community of Ireland for the homeless. (Also, re: the aforementioned "The Rocky Road to Poland" -- "We went to press on the same day, which was a complete coincidence," co-writer Mick Cronin said, according to the song's official release. "We had no idea whatsoever that they were doing a version of the same song and they didn’t know about ours either."
"The Celtic Roar" -- by Sean Kelly
And now a look at the men they're serenading:
Who scored the goal in Ireland's 1-0 victory over England at Euro 1988?
The answer will be posted on Facebook later today.