America’s favorite alcoholiday is a great time to celebrate Irish music. Unfortunately, it’s also a great time for some random drunk to sling his arm over your shoulder and shanghai you into a slobbery, swaying sluralong to some godawful U2 song. And then ten minutes later, during a Dropkick Murphys anthem, you’ll be dodging a “Liverpool Kiss” from the same slurry baastard.
And this is to say nothing of the Pogues. I actually love the Pogues, but it boggles my mind how a band who only released 5 albums can claim 3 greatest hits collections.
So here’s my ‘Big Three’ of blarneyfree St. Patrick’s Day songs:
Lebron: Irish Black Bottom by Louis Armstrong & the Hot Five (Hey, this Louis Armstrong fellow doesn’t sound Irish…)
D Wade: Whiskey in My Whiskey by the Felice Brothers (Why not give Whisky in the Jar a rest this year?)
Otherguy: California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco
OK, this last selection needs an explanation and nobody’s better at longwinded explanations of his songs than Billy Bragg. Take it away, Billy…
(This next paragraph is intended to be spoken in a thick cockney accent)
“Oy, so after we agreed to collaborate on Mermaid Avenue, we ‘ad to decide where to record it. I wasn’t bloody going to bloody Chicago and Wilco wouldn’t come to London, so we decided to meet halfway. Knowing that you Yanks aren’t so flash on your world geography, I suggested Dublin, Ireland. They said yes. So every weekend, I went home to see me family, while the boys in Wilco went out to kiss the Blarney Stone!”
(And just in case you’re intent on kissing the Blarney Stone, you can do much worse than Sally MacLennane by The Pogues)