Today, 30th November 2023, it was announced that Shane MacGowan, former lead singer with the Pogues had died.
I love most of the Pogues' music and a lot of his collaborations with others, so I thought I would put together a playlist of a few of my favorites to share with you.
Before I start the playlist I used his beautiful duet with Sinéad O'Connor in this piece on the ones we lose.
and this was my piece on Sinéad O'Connor when she passed
But now on to some favorite songs with Shane MacGowan singing.
"If I Should Fall From Grace With God" Album Title Track and Single
When I heard this I went out and bought the album immediately and found an absolute treasure trove of amazing songs that I could probably fill this playlist with without even touching their other albums. There are some gems elsewhere though, that I cannot possibly ignore.
"Navigator" from "Rum, Sodomy, And The Lash"
As a kid, I knew that the workers who dug the roads were called Navvies but what I didn't know is that was a contraction of "Navigators" who dug the canals in the nineteenth century, and this is a wonderful description of the conditions that they had to endure to create the networks that we can still see and use today.
"The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" from "Rum, Sodomy, And The Lash"
This is a beautiful take on one of the greatest anti-war songs ever written. Its composer is Eric Bogle. This is absolutely heartbreaking and describes how ordinary people are destroyed by politicians and money and then discarded.
"Thousands Are Sailing" from "If I Should Fall From Grace With God"
Maybe this should have had a place on the soundtrack of the film "Titanic" another historic description of the ones that left Ireland to find their fortune in the land of opportunity across the Western Ocean (The Atlantic).
An amazing song but not the best on the album, that will close this playlist.
"Fairytale Of New York" from "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" with Kirsty McColl
Probably their most famous song ever and probably the greatest Christmas song ever. Sadly both these singers have now left this world but we still have their music and performances to enjoy forever. This song is close to perfection.
"The Irish Rover" bonus song from "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" with The Dubliners
Two legendary bands singing about a ship called The Irish Rover, this is just so full of life, an absolute slice of brilliance. If you start this playing you won't stop it.
"Streams of Whiskey" from "Red Roses For Me"
A drinking song from their first album containing so many amazing lines such as
”when the world is too dark and I need the light inside of me, I walk into the bar and drink 15 pints of beer!”
These songs are so addictive, you need them in your life.
"The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn" from "Rum, Sodomy, And The Lash"
Shane delves into Irish culture and history for the opener from their second album. As with many of their songs there is a lot of swearing and racist words but these are the characters that make up these stories, so maybe don't listen to this if you are easily offended, but the music is very addictive.
You have to check out this rewrite of Shane's song by Cian Ferriter which you can read on Facebook here
"The Broad Majestic Shannon" from "If I Should Fall From Grace With God"
This is the one to close this playlist. In my and my friend Lee's opinion the finest song on the album. This is an absolute beauty celebrating this absolutely beautiful river.
I hop eyou have enjoyed these wonderful songs.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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