The Pogues – “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” from If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1987)
Irish folk-punk is a pretty perplexing genre. Bands like the Dropkick Murphys or the Tossers are incredible for two songs, sort of funny for the next five or six, and then incredibly irritating after that. (Case in point: listen to that “Shipping Out to Boston” song from The Departed ten times in a row, like I have, and you will understand the shift from all-out love to sheer annoyance that comes part and parcel of this genre.)
But the Pogues ain’t like that. They write complicated melodies that have an emotional power that’s kind of unexpected, and their ensemble playing is loose in the best way. Shane MacGowan’s evocative lyrics and tooth-free delivery doesn’t hurt either. In short, the Pogues rule.
I’m putting the country tag on this post, because, well…it sounds like country. Replace MacGowan with a dude with a drawl/twang and you’d have a great country song. Steve Earle knew that; that’s why he played (and continues to, I believe) with the Pogues.
Plus: look at that blind Irish guy, fourth from left. Betcha didn’t know he was a Pogue. The ineluctable modality of the visible, indeed!
Posted by Glenn