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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Sally Maclennane"

The Pogues - Sally Maclennane (1985)

Well this is a treat, a song by The Pogues where I can understand what Shane MacGowan is saying. It sounds like an old folk song, but it was written by MacGowan. The constant penny whistle really helps sell it as an older song. The accordion or concertina that is used also really makes this drinking song sound like a classic rather than an original. Like many songs in the genre, this upbeat tune is actually about death. This one a death due to drinking. Like any great Irish songwriter, MacGowan has turned death into a reason to have another round. Apparently Sally Maclennane is the name of a stout, not a woman. The only thing this song is missing is a harmonica, though I suppose, since it was Jimmy (the dead man) who played harmonica, perhaps it was intentional.

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