The Pogues — Dirty Old Town
Album: Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
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Total ratings: 1692

Released: 1989
Length: 3:42
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl by the factory wall

Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Clouds a drifting across the moon
Cats a prowling on their beat
Spring's a girl from the streets at night

Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I heard a siren from the docks
Saw a train set the night on fire

I smelled the spring on the smoky wind

Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I'm going to make me a big sharp axe
Shining steel tempered in the fire
I'll chop you down like an old dead tree

Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl by the factory wall

Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Comments (222)add comment
Man this reminds me of my crappy old mining town I grew up in.  Kissed my girl by the movie theater wall.  Never forget it. {#Heartkiss}

I love this, a rough hewn love song. 8^9
 Skydog wrote:
we heard the voices of the residents of the dirty old towns in America last Tuesday

Wasn't it great! I still love going to YouTube to watch the talking heads melt down on Nov 8, 2016.
First heard this song when it was performed regularly by the house band in Sweetwaters Bar in Mill Valley, California when I was living in the States in the mid eighties. Now living in Kent, England but brings back memories of good times when I was young, free and easy. Any one else ever hang out in Sweetwaters?
Salford docks , mentioned in the song.

 TerryS wrote:

The album title is often attributed to Winston Churchill when approached by a disgruntled Admiral over Churchill's changes to the Royal Navy, Winston actually disavowed the words, saying he wished he had said them.

The original quotes were along the lines of:- Ashore it’s wine, women and song; aboard it’s rum, bum and concertina.


OK that's how I remember Martin Gilbert asserting at a Churchill Club meeting  (ca 1989.) I was a guest, not a member, lest Fred takes umbrage.


Churchill struggled to master English as a young boy but the drilling he got in remedial classes at school (Harrow, I think) really helped him nail it. I always thought he coined the terms "blood, sweat and tears" but he missed the mark a bit in his first speech to the House of Commons as Prime Minister with "I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.'"

As for Shane...

Daily Mail pic of Shane's girlfriend and Shane with new teeth

...a few dentures, a quick embalming...and love's abloom!
we heard the voices of the residents of the dirty old towns in America last Tuesday
thanks again Bill
First time hearing this,
I tuned in when it was about two thirds over,
kinda rattled me this early in the morning, 
but I wanted to hear it again so i youtubed it,  
I'm rating it an 8 
Yeah, man! Just off work, after getting slammed with customers, with a good beer buzz making the head light and some Purple Alien taking me to a legal orbit, and this great old song making me think of all the times I heard it feeling delightful variations of exactly this!
Excellent band and great story tellers.
 face only a mutha could love!

On_The_Beach wrote:
"Mmm, breakfast."


Dammit, I want a beer as well but I live in a dry country.  :-(

Great song. 

Graham (Somewhere in Q8)

greiffenstein wrote:
Dammit, now I want a beer....

it's 9am on a wednesday



 Proclivities wrote:

"The Pogues were founded in Kings Cross, a district of Central London, in 1982 as Pogue Mahone—pogue mahone being the Anglicization of the Irish Gaelic póg mo thóin, meaning 'kiss my arse'".

Given the number of bars named Pogue Mahone, that's funny. There is a Pogue Fado ( bar/live music) in Halifax NS. Better check what  a Fado is...   

 motobecane wrote:
Great song. Original by Ewan MacColl in 1949.  Father of Kirsty "In These Shoes?" MacColl.


cool bit of background info.  
Sometimes there's nothing quite like's a priceless, heart-grabbing, soul-warming ditty; so fun to sing — AND DRINK — along to!
I never did like the Pogues. Clearly this is the best track I've heard from them. Giving it a 3.
I saw them once on a concert in germany back in the eighties. Shane was so drunk that he fell off the stage during a song. They picked him up again an sat him on a chair at the side of the stage where he slept for the rest of the show...
 btt wrote:

Did`nt she sing on Fairytale of New York ?


I stage managed a Dubliners gig with Shane guesting.  Needed a bucket, not a chair, he was so well lubricated when he arrived.

One of Boober's favorite songs....and one that I sing well (and play harmonica on).