Last Friday, we asked you, our witty, urbane commentariat, to outline your favourite song, of any genre, of Irish extraction, to play on Paddy’s Day several days after Paddy’s Day.
In fact, we asked you to complete the following sentence.
“If I could hear only one song on March 17 any point early next week, please make it_________________________because______________________”
At stake was a handsome, well-lit and gentlemanly voucher to the tune of twenty-five beans, redeemable at any of 14 Golden Discs locations around the country.
There could only be one winner, though, as ever…
Smith, with a classic from the People’s Republic of Cork:
If I could hear only one song on March 17, please make it Where’s Me Jumper by The Sultans of Ping FC. An anarchic tune with brilliant and sometimes nonsensical lyrics, and a class guitar riff. Nothing to do with Paddy’s Day but more Irish.
Other hoolies from the running:
Shane: “It has to be Thousands are Sailing by The Pogues. The lines “We stepped hand in hand on Broadway/like the first man on the moon”; and “When I got back to my empty room/I suppose I must have cried” just capture the Irish experience! All irony and innocence intended.”
Pat Walsh: “If I could hear only one song on March 17th, please make it Microdisney’s Town To Town. It’s got a great vocal from Cathal Coughlan as well as a simple but imaginative music video.”
RealPolithicks: “If I could hear only one song on March 17 please make it Raggle Taggle Gypsy Oh, because it’s a quintessentially Irish song by one of the greatest Irish bands of all time. I give you, Planxty.”
Johnny Keenan: “If I could listen to only one song on Paddy’s night it would have to be
RíRá’sFront Bar. I saw him live in Barcelona 2011 on Paddy’s Night. He was supporting Method Man. Just watch the video and you will feel so proud to be Irish. Once you realise and feel, that someone with so much passion, doesn’t need to be known by anyone or anywhere, in order to have maximum impact, on first hearing seeing and meeting… that’s true Irish!”
Scottser: “If I could only hear one song on March 17, please make it Come Out Ye Black and Tansbecause it has everything – pointless nationalism, a killer chorus and and a ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’ attitude that would make a Millwall fan jealous. I always fancy that come the revolution, Come out Ye Black and Tans will be the soundtrack.”
Liam Deliverance: “Oh, the halcyon days of the summer of 1990 and a World Cup in Italy. A simpler time when Irishmen and Irishwomen were justifiably proud of our little country and the long strange trip that we had traveled together. Put ‘Em Under Pressure. Produced by Larry Mullen, Moya Brennan of Clannad does the intro, timeless Jack Charlton vocals and a melody from a tune called O’Neills March, itself a tribute to the great Hugh O’Neill.
Steph Pinker: “If I could hear only one song on March 17, please make it The Waterboys’ version of William Butler Yeats’ poem, The Stolen Child, because as a Faery Queen in a former life I had to relinquish my crown due to my Earthly fondness of a music God called Bowie, and Dana didn’t like it; henceforth, in the twinkling, but myopic eyes of my Tuatha brethren, I will forever be known as a chchchchangeling.”
Last week, in our Friday Golden Discs competition, we asked you who your favourite second-generation Irish artists have been over the years.
To be precise, we asked you to fill in the following blanks:
The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be______________________________________’
At stake was a voucher printed and signed off on to the tune of twenty-five Euro, redeemable at any of Golden Discs’ fourteen locations around the country. The competition was fierce. But there, as ever, can only be one winner.
PMCD with the clincher:
“The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to Kevin Rowland of Dexys. Mr Rowland lambasted the stereotype of the Thick Paddy with his first single ‘Dance Stance’: “Never heard about, can’t think about Oscar Wilde and Brendan Behan, Sean O’Casey, George Bernard Shaw. Samuel Beckett, Eugene O’Neill, Edna O’Brien and Lawrence Stern.”
He almost spits out the lyrics in anger – it still sends a shiver up my back 35+ years later. Oh, and his second single ‘Geno’ went to No. 1 and happens to be one of the best songs ever – pop fact! And if all that’s not good enough for ya – the man’s got style!”
Other highlights from the running:
Smith: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be John Lydon. Hard to sum up his influence and impact with any soundbite, but this legend firstly under the guise of ‘Johnny Rotten’ with the Sex Pistols was the punk spokesperson for disaffected youth in a time not dissimilar to now in the UK with rising racism and burgeoning neoliberalism. He was both proudly British and Irish and was unafraid to express his views both musically and in person. With PIL, he really found his form and helped to re-shape music with this post-punk brilliance. RISE is a song that encapsulates the man. “Anger is an energy”.”
Jamie: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess is clearly proud Waterford woman Kate Bush (her mother was from the Deise). Have any of these other people (the comments had) mentioned recorded a song with whipping noises and someone going “OOOOH! OOOOH!” like an owl in the background all the way through? No. No they haven’t. I rest my case.”
Penfold: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be both Lennon and McCartney. Both embraced this, evident in their post Beatles ventures, with Wings’ Give Ireland back to the Irish, and Lennon/Yoko’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
Bertie Blenkinsop: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be The Smiths. TOTP, 1983. I first set eyes on Johnny Marr and it was love at first sight. He’s never put a foot wrong since in my eyes, the coolest man alive. His autobiography is a great read and his solo stuff is not half bad either.”
Daisy Chainsaw: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be Mary O’Brien who became Dusty Springfield. A sublime voice who brought pathos to and elevated the songs of Bacharach and David to the classics they deserved to be.”
Zena: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess, would have to be Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama. She was so much more than a pretty face.”
EightersGonnaEight: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be Bernard Butler of Suede.”
Pictured above, clockwise from top-left: Kevin Burke, Power of Dreams, The Golden Horde, Rollerskate Skinny, Auto da Fe, Aidan Walsh (Master of the Universe)
Last week, in our Friday Golden Discs competition, we asked you, rather than for any genre in particular, your favourite Irish gem that’s been forgotten by the march of time.
In fact, we asked you to finish the following sentence:
“I regard_______________________________as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because__________________________’
At stake was no more than a voucher guaranteeing its bearer a handsome twenty-five beans at any of Golden Discs’ fourteen locations around the country. And the competition was really, very tight. But there, as ever, can only be one winner.
Harry Molloy, one of Broadsheet’s regular commentators, with the well-deserved clincher:
I have found the most underappreciated but greatest Irish song that there is – this is especially strengthened by how much we tend to appreciate and replicate anything of value from this genre of music. Suitably, it is a song which no one I knew had heard of, and no once since has, until such time as it had been introduced to them.
It is ‘Mrs Gilhooley’s Party’ from Kevin Burke of the Bothy Band. With a song title like that you would be well excused to ignore, but I challenge you to stop and have a listen. Its best qualities are the fact that it is decent trad, of good caliber, it’s really funny, and you can’t watch it and not think how great it would be to see someone take that on live.
From an editorial perspective, this was an absolute heartbreaker to boil down to a few runners-up, but indeed, here they are. All of these tunes are also in the playlist embedded above, for your convenience.
Liam Zero: “I regard Season by Last Days of 1984 as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because, like the rest of the album it came from, it is one of the most wonderful pieces of music made on these shores, and it evokes joy and nostalgia and happiness and love and bliss and warmth and a late summer vibe that perhaps never actually exists in this country but which seems like a certainty this year once you hit play. It’s aural MDMA that doesn’t require you to go buying some dodgy pill from some dodgier bloke and then suffering the dodgiest comedown. It’s all the high and none of the low. It’s sunset and sunrise. It’s we’re going to be friends for EVER. It’s homebound contentment. It makes you gush this sort of rubbish. And it never got the love it deserved. It was forgotten from the start. But it’s goddamn fucking beautiful and I love it.”
Ferret McGruber: “I regard November, November by Auto da Fe as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because of Gay Wood’s evocative singing and bonkers stage performances, and Trevor Knight’s superb, ethereal keyboards. When it was released in 1982 it wasn’t like what anyone else was doing at the time. It’s also significant for being produced by Phil Lynott. Still makes me wonder what more he could have achieved had he stuck around.”
Gorugeen: “I regard Speed to My Side by Rollerskate Skinny as a forgotten Irish classic because it’s a rollicking, big sound and brings me back to Fibber Magees, main dance floor and the crowd going mental to it. But, nowadays all I get is blank looks when I mention the band or song. They should’ve been so much more.”
Me: “I regard Friends in Time by The Golden Horde as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because it’s a great song, with a Larry Gogan cameo in the video, but most of all when I went to listen to it on Spotify a few months back I couldn’t find their version, only the Ronan Keating cover.”
Baron Von Botter III: “Dudley Corporation’s Divil the Bit has it all. Swaying and lurching, threatening to topple over yet staying tight and lyrical. Abruptly ends after barely two minutes. All the elements of a classic.”
Friscondo: “It has to be one the the greatest Irish pop songs, Those Nervous Animals’ My Friend John. Great tune, great lyrics and now almost totally forgotten. I defy anyone not to love it on their first listen. Sligo has never produced anything better.”
Smith: “I regard Feeding Frenzy by National Prayer Breakfast an absolute forgotten Irish classic. An anthemic Phantom FM staple, with lyrics and jangly guitar representing true indie music away from the manufactured sound of mainstream radio.”
Al Jeers: “I regard ‘Master of the Universe’ Aidan Walsh’s Community Games as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because it’s the only song to my knowledge to conceptually decontruct that most Irish of all sports meetings.”
Donal: I regard Arclight by The Fat Lady Sings as an absolute forgotten Irish classic, because it’s still a cracking tune and it was our summer anthem at Ballyfin Jamboree in 1993.
Bertie Blenkinsop: Foremost among a number of great suggestions made by Bertie, who played a blinder here, was Power of Dreams’ Stay. – Mike
Goosey Lucy: Revelino’s Happiness is Mine. Listened to it non stop as a teenager.
Frilly Keane: Cypress Mine – Sugar Beet God. So good live that Zig ‘n’ Zag covered it.
Last week, we asked you to provide us your favourite reggae tune.
In fact, we asked specifically:
“The greatest reggae track of all time is _______________________________because__________________’
As usual, a princely €25 voucher for any of fourteen Golden Discs outlets nationwide was at stake.
The competition was especially tuff but there could only be one winner
Niallo’s entry takes the bong gong :
“Greatest reggae song ? Prince Buster, yes, Peter Tosh, yes, The Wailers, yes, Toots, oh yes ! But, speaking as someone who’s been to Jamaica (been to Peter Tosh’s house/grave), there is only one spokesman for the good people of Jamaica who live in places like Russia (a town/ghetto out the back of Negril) and the Caribbean equivalent of the blues, and seeing as the quintessential reggae themed movie is its namesake… I’ll just leave this here: Desmond Dekker & The Aces’ Israelites. Tcha man.”
In other highlights from the skanking:
Walter-Ego: An unlikely contender for a reggae classic, but when The Pioneers’ favorite horse, Long Shot ‘Combat’ fell in the first race at Caymanas Park one afternoon, taking the the duo’s large wages with him, a classic was born. Released in 1969, Long Shot Kick de Bucket from The Pioneers.
Badatmemes: “It’s widely believed that the first Reggae song ever released in 1968 was by Lee Scratch Perry and it was called People Funny Boy. It has a baby crying in it. It’s effin brilliant. It goes like this.”
edalicious: “The greatest reggae track of all time is Big Five by Prince Buster because of the absolutely RIDICULOUS lyrics, and the big farty synth bits. Quality.”
Ploppy: “The greatest reggae track of all-time is Born For a Purpose by Doctor Alimantado, because even though he may not have been a qualified medical physician, the good Doctor’s 1977 classic is so full of fire and passion it can heal all wounds.”
Psydeshow: “The greatest reggae track of all time is I Chase the Devil by Max Romeo and the Upsetters, because I challenge you to resist its hypnotic rhythm. Apparently, some band sampled it heavily in the 90s, can’t remember their name; some young fellas who thought they were pretty smart, no doubt…”
Last week, we asked you to fill us in on the sounds that ease you into your Sunday mornings.
To be specific, we asked you to complete the following sentence.
‘On Sunday mornings I fill my home with the sounds of___________________________because_____________’
At stake was a €25 voucher for Golden Discs, redeemable at any of their 14 locations nationwide.
The competition, as ever, was stiff, but there can only be one (as ever).
Kolmo wins with this rhyming clincher:
“On Sunday mornings I fill my home with the sounds of Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day‘ because I’ll tell you why – you wake up, feeling like a slug, climb out of bed after giving her a hug, scratch your head as you hop from the bed, have the dogs been fed? We’ll have to see after quite a lengthy pee. Roll downstairs, tip on over to the shiny kettle, still not feeling the finest of fettle, fill her up as you look at the pup, right so, let’s start the show – on goes ‘Lovely Day’, a warm wave melts over you that everything is going to be OK.”
Strong contenders from the running:
Odockatee: “On Sunday mornings I fill my home with the sounds of Badly Drawn Boy’s Hour of the Bewilderbeast because from the opening, cornflakes-themed The Shining, it’s a gentle but interesting meander near the water and back. Just a beautiful document of moments in time.”
James M.Chimney: “Sunday morning. It could be Dream Wife or possibly Screaming Females. Sometimes the vinyl goes on, or sometimes it’s purely digital. If I’m busy cooking breakfast, I’ll opt for something upbeat, Joy Division or a bit of Batcave. As the sausages sizzle under the grill, I’ll reach for imaginary cobwebs. As I pour the orange juice, I lament to Cave’s refrain… ‘why are all the women weeping?‘”
Shayna: “It’s Sunday morning, there’s no-one to gently warm my croissants in the oven, there’s no Illy freshly ground coffee percolating, the Papers have arrived (mags not fully intact – Damn you, little neighbour paperboy/kid). I’m trying to feel better about my disastrous artichokes entrée at my last dinner party (balsamic vinegar on the table, what was I thinking?). Anyhoos, I got Bob.”
Harry Molloy: “On Sunday mornings I fill my home with the sounds of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale because it sounds great, you can sing along without knowing what you’re singing about (poxiest bleedin’ lyrics ever written) and it reminds me of being little when my dad would be singing along to classic gold while making a fry, and would give me a sausage on a fork which would satisfy my little stomach”
The Citizen: “On Sunday mornings I am mostly listening to the talented Irish singer and producer Gavin Glass and the title track from his most recent album Sunday Songs because he gets it. The getting old, the hangover, the fun, the realism and the optimism. Worth a listen anytime, Sunday morning ideally.”
gorugeen: “on Sunday mornings I like to fill my home with the sound of Dummy by Portishead. Why? Because it’s the perfect soundtrack to Sunday morning happy time.”
mildred st. meadowlark: “On Sundays I fill my home with the sounds of Sunrise by Norah Jones because it’s a wonderfully warm song and just makes me bliss out as I make an enormous stack of food. Also anything by Fleet Foxes. They have a wonderfully uplifting sound to their music that would suit a relaxing and ponderous Sunday morning.”