My Top 1000 Songs #296: Sally MacLennane

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

I first heard the Pogues on their second LP, 1985's Rum Sodomy & The Lash, when the record hit the college station and everyone gobbled it up, the DJs all enthralled by their Irish drinking songs as performed by a band which sounded like they'd grown up on the Clash & Elvis Costello (who produced it). The immediate favorite for me was the jubilant "Sally MacLennane," a rollicking celebration of the comings & goings of the denizens of an Irish pub. The song is ridiculous fun, galloping along with the snap of the snare and the shouts of "far away!" and the unremitting drunken pub-crawls.

And for all the giddy joy, there's something so perfect and bittersweet in the chorus. "We walked him to the station in the rain; we kissed him as we put him on the train. And we sang him a song of times long gone, though we knew that we'd be seeing him again."

And of course the lyrics I had to make up for myself, filling in the blanks of Brit Shane MacGowan's at times indecipherable faux Irish accent, are even better.

Live in 1985: