Dirty Old Town

Dirty Old Town - Click Title To Play

The Pogues are probably the quintessential band at fusing traditional Irish music and rock. Unless you come from New York, in which case you might lay a claim for Black 47 who are (were?) an awesome band in their own right.

This song holds so many memories for me, most of which involve knocking back more than a few pints of Guinness at some of NYC's finer Irish owned and operated establishments. A couple haunts that come quickly to mind: McCormack's and Molly's on the East Side in the 20's.

I wish I could say that this is the song that was playing when I skulked into JD's Pub in midtown to pay my $100 debt to the bartenders in 1994. I'd bet that Italy would beat Ireland in the World Cup matches that were going on in New York at the time, and as any good Irishman will tell you, the Irish won the match 1-0. About 30 minutes after the game when I went to pay up there were still about 50 Irish kids dancing on the bar. They'd all come across to see the World Cup and would drink all day and sleep in the neighboorhood streets at night. This isn't the song that was playing though, it was Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy. I remember it like it was yesterday. I also remember a huge life lesson learned: Never bet against the Irish. $100 was a ton of dough for me in those days . . . . . I'm sure I didn't eat for about a week.

I wish that I'd been able to see The Pogues play live, I'm pretty sure it would have been insane just judging by the reputation that Shane McGowan and the guys used to have. Alas, it never did happen.