Saturday, March 14, 2009
“Thousands Are Sailing”
I believe I’ve mentioned in the past that my paternal heritage goes back to the auld sod; my father was a second generation Irish immigrant. I’ve always felt a close kinship to that heritage—more so, perhaps, in my hard-living youth, when I read as much Yeats & Joyce & Heaney & Behan as I could get my hands on, & felt a strong pull toward the Irish Republic. Although I’m no longer so absorbed in this, I’m still proud of that heritage; & I’m very happy to see that the horrific troubles in both Eire & Northern Ireland have calmed over the past decade.
Now, thinking back to the mid 80s, I recall buying an album called Poguetry in Motion; it was an EP really, just a few cuts per side—but I was immediately hooked on the Pogues & continued to be a fan for a number of years; I find I’m still moved by their music, tho I rarely listen to it. I never did see them live—a bit of a regret—tho some folks I knew, The Bedlam Rovers, opened for them once in San Francisco.
I must say I listened to the Pogues’ a lot—& especially (but far from exclusively), If I Should Fall From Grace with God—& I still could, tho I don’t listen much to the music I loved at that time anymore. I’d hoped to find a clip of “The Recruiting Sergeant/Rocky Road to Dublin/Galway Races” from that album—it’s probably my favorite cut, & would be a great St. Patrick’s "warm-up" tune—but couldn’t find one. However, I really like the slide show YouTube user Jtpoguemahone made for another great Pogue’s tune, “Thousands Are Sailing.” He juxtaposes the tune with some photos of immigrants, Ellis Island, & New York City; & this song still gives me chills.
Hope you enjoy this as a St. Patrick’s Day warm-up—we’ll have another Irish post tomorrow—a poem by a very famous Irish poet.
Pic of the Pogues is from irishrockers.com