Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick’s Day

Padriac reminds me of Ireland, and Ireland reminds me of Irish Republicanism and the working class. Those are two themes, along with the Irish diaspora (and drinking) that are heavily reflected in Celtic punk.

Wikipedia says Celtic punk (paddybeat, celtcore) emerged from “both the British folk rock bands of the 1960s and 70s who first electrified the music of the British Isles and more directly in folk bands such as The Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers.” Wikipedia points to the Skids 1981 album Joy and the Pouges.

Irish oriented punk in America might be traced to the many Ancient Order of Hibernian halls that hosted late punk shows in the early 1980s. Celtic punk came into popular American culture with Black-47

Check out The Men They Couldn’t Hang – he’s an intersting tidbit from wikipedia about the band:

Their first single, “The Green Fields of France“, was released in 1984. Written by Eric Bogle (of “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” fame), the song’s protagonist imagined having a conversation with one of the fallen soldiers of World War I whilst sitting by his graveside. It received considerable airplay on the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and finished at No.3 in Peel’s Festive 50 for that year. It became a big hit on the UK Indie charts.

The following year they were signed by Elvis Costello to his Demon label, and released their debut album, “The Night of a Thousand Candles”, and its accompanying single “Ironmasters”, a self-penned number by main songwriter Simmonds, linking the Industrial Revolution to the present-day treatment of the working class. The original final line of the song – “and oh, that iron bastard, she still gets her way” (a reference to the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) had to be removed for the single version to ensure radio airplay. They were again named in Peel’s yearly Festive 50, this time at No.11.

In 1985 the band signed for MCA records and released “How Green Is The Valley”. The record included “Ghosts Of Cable Street”, a political number concerning The Battle of Cable Street in 1936 and “Shirt Of Blue”, which regarded the miners’ strike of 1984-5. At the end of promotion for the album Shanne Bradley left to create music with Wreckless Eric and The Chicken Family, she was replaced on bass by Ricky McGuire (ex UK Subs).

In 1987 the band switched to Magnet Records and the new record released was, what many fans consider their best “Waiting For Bonaparte”. Once again the strongest songs were stories of historical origin. “The Colours” told of an English mutineer sailor during the Napoleonic War and “The Crest” a stretcher bearer during World War II. Sadly whilst “The Colours” was at no.61 in the British top 75 it was blacklisted by BBC Radio 1 due to the line “You’ve Come Here To Watch Me Hang”, which echoed the events happening in South African townships at the time.

Flogging Molly, Black-47, The Barleycorns, Dropkick Murphys, Fighting Men of Crossmaglen, The Pouges, is all great St. Paddy’s Day musical fare.

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John Warren

John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for almost 50 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded the geolocation services company Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John remains active in traditional media. His Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on the stations of North Country Public Radio and on 93.3 / 102.1 The Mix. Since 2008, John has been a media specialist on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute.

John is also a professional researcher and historian with a M.A. in Public History. He edits The New York History Blog and is the author of two books of regional history. As a Grant Consultant for the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, he has reviewed hundreds of historic roadside marker grant applications from around New York State for historical accuracy.




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