I hope you’ve had a lovely day celebrating everything that is Irish and wonderful. Leprechauns, castles and of course, the music.
The Musical Map of Ireland
About four years ago I spent two weeks travelling around the Emerald Isle. Most of my memories are punctuated by the music. Whether it was bar hopping between Ballintoy’s only two pubs (one Catholic, one Protestant), dancing to the local bands play in the bars of Galway or watching performers on the streets of Dublin, it was clear that music was an important part of the Irish tradition.
So pour yourself a large whiskey and pump up The Pogues.
The Pogues are very much considered an Irish band, though they formed in Kings Cross, London (actually Shane MacGowan and Spider Stacy met in the toilets at a London Ramones gig). They combine traditional Irish music with punk rock. Shane MacGowan was born to Irish parents in Kent, England. He spent much of his childhood in Tipperary.
The Pogues name derived from the Irish Gaelic expression “pogue mahone” – or in English, “Kiss my arse.”
Here is their rendition of the classic Dirty Old Town:
And one of my favourite songs, my all-time favourite Christmas song, Fairytale of New York:
This is one of those songs that every child of the 80s grew up with. It has meant a lot more to me since I visited Ireland and heard the stories of Bloody Sunday from the people of Derry.
Whiskey in the Jar is a traditional Irish song that has been kept alive for hundreds of years, thanks to countless covers by bands as varied as The Dubliners, Metallica, Pulp and Belle & Sebastian. Thin Lizzy’s hard rock rendition from 1972 is perhaps one of the most popular:
And another traditional Irish song Molly Malone, as performed by The Dubliners:
I just realised how depressing most of these songs are, so here’s Big Sur by Dublin band, The Thrills, to cheer you up.