Blogging Up The Works

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rum, Sodomy & The Lash

I've come to this Pogues LP somewhat late. I bought a set of 5 cd's in a boxed set and, although I like odd tracks on most, this is good from beginning to end. Sometimes you tend to forget that some of the more traditional sounding songs are in fact penned by Shane McGowan. Anyway, for me there are 4 track that are stand out tracks to my ears.

1) I'm A Man You Don't Meet Everyday

A traditional song which is sung by Cait O'Riordan who played bass for them normally. Strange to hear a woman sing the song but her voice is like drinking Baileys. Sweet, smooth and leaves you wanting more.

2) Sally MacLennane

A semi autobiographical song penned by Shane. The bar in question being the one he was brought up in. It's a great raucous sing-a-long foot stopmer of a tune. One you can't help joining in the chorus with, and unusually for Shane, you can actually hear the lyrics of the chorus which helps.

3) Navigator

Written by Phil Gaston, manager of Shane's first band, it is a paean to the Navvies who built the railways and canals. Another tune to join in with. A typical Irish reminiscing song.

4) And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Written by Eric Bogle, Scottish folk singer who emigrated to Australia, it is one of those songs that conjures up what was is about and how those who were there felt about it. It is to do with the Gallipoli Landings and the carnage of the event. I have a slight connection in as much as although this is about the Australian armed forces, there was also a company of The Lancashire Fusiliers at Suvla Bay. They were decimated, in fact worse than 1 in 10 died. When the call went out to restaff the battalion my Grandfather moved across from the King's Own Yorkshire to the Fusiliers. Whilst I would consider myself to be a pacifist I am certainly not one of those who prefers to wear a white poppy because they believe the red poppy glorifies war. I am a pacifist because I don't want young men to be slaughtered like that again, and it is songs like this that help transmit a form of reality that cold facts can't. Whilst Shane can never be said to have a beautiful voice, it is a very sensitive and understanding voice that sings these lyrics.


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