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NOD TO THE GODS: The Pogues & The Dubliners, ‘The Irish Rover’
March 16, 2014
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Each and every Sunday night when the clock hits eight, The Strombo Show takes over CBC Radio 2. It's music for music lovers by music lovers. To kick off the program, we always tip our hats to the legends, the noisemakers and the ground-breakers in a segment that we like to call: Nod to the Gods.

We tip our hats to the idols of Ireland by way of "The Irish Rover," a folk song that brought together bands from two generations: The Dubliners and The Pogues. Attributed to a songwriter named J.M. Crofts, it tells the story of a magnificent ship that meets a tragic end. Perfect material for drunken swaying with your mate.

The Dubliners paved the way for acts like The Pogues, gaining popularity by appearing on Top of the Pops and the Ed Sullivan Show, but also received a ton of criticism from folk purists (there were even bans on their music in the late '60s). They became Ireland's longest surviving musical act with their fiftieth anniversary in 2012, before founding member Barney McKenna died.

Generations of Irish punks have taken a stab at the classic song, including The Tossers, Fiddler's Green, Clancy Brothers, Irish Descendants and of course, The Dropkick Murphys.

A few years back, in the heart of a pub deep in the County of Tipperary, George shared a conversation with Shane MacGowan of The Pogues. It was part of season six's week of Ireland specials, which included conversations with Bertie Ahern, Des Bishop, David McWilliams, Tommy Tiernan and Maria Doyle Kennedy from The Commitments.

And whether you're hitting the pub today and trying to pretend you speak Irish so you can pull off that "Kiss Me I'm Irish" t-shirt, or avoiding people who are doing exactly that, you'll need a solid soundtrack for your day. Well, we've got you covered. Our list starts off fast-paced and energetic, then gets a little silly and ends up in a sort of melancholy place — sounds like a standard day of St. Paddy's Day partying to us.

For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or relisten, all of the episodes are archived here.


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