That Shane MacGowan will reach 51 this Christmas day is proof that damn near anything is possible. There is only one MacGowan and despite the caricature of a caricature he has become he has to his credit a half dozen or so of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Who else would pen a song about Irish republican Dominic McGlinchy called “Paddy Public Enemy Number One”?
There were years in my adamant early twenties where The Pogues were one of only a handful of bands that I would listen to. I saw them a number of times including twice on the If I Should Fall tour and those remain some of the finest, most exhilarating shows I’ve seen. Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six came at a perfect time and even if a good deal of Shane’s politics are suspect I am awfully glad to have him around still occasionally giving two fingers to the powers that be. I’d offer a toast, but I’m sure he already beat me to it. Go dté tú an céad!