Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Pogues' 'Irish Rover' and memories of Murphy's Bar Gibraltar

I was trawling around YouTube this afternoon looking up some stuff when I came across this fantastic video of The Pogues and 'The Irish Rover'!

This song was a massive hit for The Pogues in 1987 when they recorded it with The Dubliners and used to be played regularly at Murphy's Bar in Gibraltar.

Apart from the fact this is a brilliant Irish song, it's a great example of The Pogues wonderful mix of traditional Irish music, punk rock and jazz.

For me, the song also has a very nostalgic resonance as it brings back some great memories of many a crazy night (and of many dear friends) at Murphy's Bar (and the Aragon Bar earlier) during my time in Gibraltar around the late 90's and early 2000's. Here's a pic (left) of Jean and Grace (two of the 'Murphy Sisters') behind the bar at Murphy's.

Anyhow... here's The Pogues and The Dubliners, giving it some wellie! I hope you enjoy the song... it may strike a chord with you too:


Here's this version's lyrics:

On the Fourth of July, 1806
We set sail from the sweet cove of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the Grand City Hall in New York
'Twas a wonderful craft
She was rigged fore and aft
And oh, how the wild wind drove her
She stood several blasts
She had twenty seven masts
And they called her The Irish Rover

We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stone
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides
We had four million barrels of bones
We had five million hogs
And six million dogs
Seven million barrels of porter
We had eight million bails of old nanny-goats' tails
In the hold of the Irish Rover

There was awl Mickey Coote
Who played hard on his flute
When the ladies lined up for a set
He was tootin' with skill
For each sparkling quadrille
Though the dancers were fluther'd and bet
With his smart witty talk
He was cock of the walk
And he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance
When he took up his stance
That he sailed in The Irish Rover

There was Barney McGee
From the banks of the Lee
There was Hogan from County Tyrone
There was Johnny McGurk
Who was scared stiff of work
And a man from Westmeath called Malone

There was Slugger O'Toole
Who was drunk as a rule
And Fighting Bill Treacy from Dover
And your man, Mick MacCann
From the banks of the Bann
Was the skipper of the Irish Rover

For a sailor it's always a bother in life
It's so lonesome by night and by day
'Til he launch for the shore and this
charming young whore
Who will melt all his troubles away
All the noise and the rout
Swollen poitín and stout
For him soon the torment's over
Of the love of a maid he's never afraid
And old sot from the Irish Rover

We had sailed seven years
When the measles broke out
And the ship lost its way in the fog
And that whale of a crew
Was reduced down to two
Just myself and the Captain's old dog
Then the ship struck a rock
Oh Lord! what a shock
The bulkhead was turned right over
It turned nine times around and the
poor old dog was drowned
I'm the last of the Irish Rover

More info on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The Pogues - The Irish Rover


Garrett Gibbons said...

Aye, the Pogues! Makes me almost wish I were more Irish than I am!