The river is green, the Guinness flows freely, the leprechauns are out and about. You never know what may be at the end of their rainbow. However, it would not be Saint Patrick’s Day without music from the FABULOUS POGUES!!!!
This Celtic punk band was formed in 1982 by front man Shane MacGowan (aka Shane Hooligan), a rabble rousing displaced Irishman who had plenty to say about politics, prejudice and poetry.
The band was originally named ‘Pogue Mahone’, which is the phonetic pronunciation of the Irish phrase Póg mo thóin. Translated to English it apparently means “Kiss my ass.” 🙂
Shane chose the name as a joke and figured no one in English speaking countries would be able to figure out the meaning, but au contraire. The name caused a massive uproar. The BBC banned performances by Pogue Mahone and they could not get a record deal, so they shortened their name to ‘Pogues’. (This was acceptable, the Irish word póg meaning ‘kiss’.)
Shane had the last laugh though, when the Pogues released an album called ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’. Reportedly the title was a quote by Winston Churchill. When asked about the state of the British Navy during World War 2, Churchill allegedly replied “Don’t talk to me about naval tradition! It’s nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash!”
At any rate, you won’t find a better band to celebrate Paddy’s Day. Here are two of their classics, ‘If I Should Fall From Grace of God’ and ‘Waxie’s Dargle’. Break out the whiskey, kick up your heels and have a listen!
Lá Shona Fhéile Pádraig! (or Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!)
If I Should Fall From Grace With God — an Irish patriot grapples with his own sins and mortality. “Let me go down in the mud where the rivers all run dry.” Worth listening just to hear Shane’s banshee scream mid song. I dare you not to dance, or at least toe tap!
‘Waxie’s Dargle’ is a traditional folk song, made punk by the Pogues. A Waxie (candle maker) wants to go to the party (dargle). Sadly she is so poor she cannot raise the money to go, not even by selling her husband’s suspenders. “When food is scarce and you see the hearse you know you died of hunger!”
For such a morbid song, this version is hilarious! Sorry about the poor quality of this video, but nonetheless — you can’t beat their loopy energy. Sláinte!