There may be nothing better than sitting in a pub with friends singing along to the sounds of flutes, fiddles, bodhráns and pipes. I spent most of my recent trip to Dublin listening to various groups playing traditional Irish music. The band pictured above, Lad Lane, was particularly great and we listened to them for hours in the Temple Bar district.
Many songs tend spend a lot of time mentioning the benefits and/or downfall of too much whiskey, beer, pubs and rebellion (add dogs, mamas and pickup trucks and you have Country music). A sample of popular Irish music include titles such as:
Seven Drunken Nights
Whiskey in a Jar
The Irish Rover
Jug of Punch
Whiskey You’re the Devil
Some of the more well known bands/artists that gained International acclaim over the years include The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers and Paddy O’Connor. Personally, we here in the WordDK HQ believe The Dubliners are the best of them all.
However, a band call The Pogues emerged in the 80s which became the sort of “it” Celtic Band of the time…and they are from London. I know. Blasphemy! Well, most of the band are actually from Irish decent or originally from Ireland so they get a pass.
While they are classified as Celtic Punk, the Pogues have alternatively produced fantastic original songs while making the “classic” Irish tunes all their own. A perfect example of the latter is Dirty Old Town.
Dirty Old Town was written by Ewan MacColl in 1949 about an English (not Irish) town in which he was born and raised. In 1968, The Dubliner’s made the song their own with a few word changes. Once the Pogues emerged, they took the tune to a new level. It’s certainly not the most well known song in the US, but it’s worth a listen and one of our favorites.
Oh, look! Here is the song for you all to enjoy. A brief word of warning:
The lead singer of the Pogues, Shane MacGowan, has horrible teeth. I am convinced that all video featuring Mr. MacGowen should be included in public school curriculums to show the dangers of drugs / bad dental hygiene / excessive drinking / smoking.
The teeth are gnarly…but the song is fantastic. Enjoy!