The Irish diaspora consists of Irish emigrants and their descendants in countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. By one estimate, the diaspora contains as many as 60 million people. Over the centuries, political oppression, joblessness, and hunger in a sometimes harsh land have forced the sons and daughters of Irish parents to leave to other shores, particularly the shores of "Amerikay," where a livelihood was (it was hoped) easier. This experience was immortalized in the words of many songs including the famous Irish ballad, "The Green Fields of America":
- So pack up your sea-stores, consider no longer,
- Ten dollars a week is not very bad pay,
- With no taxes or tithes to devour up your wages,
- When you're on the green fields of America.