This is one of my favorite holidays, if only because growing up my mom always made us (American) corn beef and we would listen to The Chieftains. As an adult, I've come to realize the holiday is more closely associated with alcohol than almost any other day of the year, but to me it's cabbage and potatoes and step dancing in socks in the kitchen.
I think part of what appeals to me so much about Irish folk music is that almost every song is a story--it introduces the characters, introduces the problem, the characters address the problem, and they generally die in the end. Each three-minute song is a complete, compact story arc--and what's more, the characters are often specifically named, as opposed to a lot of contemporary American music, when an anonymous narrator is singing a song about "you" and "me."
Seriously. Listen to some Irish folk music and you'll hear what I'm talking about.