Of the many musical genres Bing Crosby tackled, he probably felt closest to the Irish songs, many of which he must have heard when he was growing up in an Irish-American home. Crosby recorded 25 Irish-themed songs between 1940 and 1952, both traditional and newly written, and they appeared originally on singles, including the gold-selling Top Ten hits "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's an Irish Lullaby)," "MacNamara's Band," and "Galway Bay." In the LP era, the songs were gathered onto two albums, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Shillelaghs and Shamrocks, the latter becoming a best-seller in 1958. Top o' the Morning: His Irish Collection, a 24-track, 72-plus-minute disc, contains the contents of both those albums, the rarity "Rosaleen," and the original recording of "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral," unissued since the 1944 single. Within the Irish context, there are warm ballads and sprightly marches, and Crosby handles them all with ease.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann