The Pogues — Dirty Old Town
Album: Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1589
Ratings histogram:
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.



 
{#Clap}

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:
http://www.stephenmacken.com/images/Shane-McGowan.jpg
"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

{#Eh}  

 


 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 this...it'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 ?

 
Yup.

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).


Dammit, now I want a beer....

it's 9am on a wednesday

{#Eh}  
good, fun, dirty tune all around, where's that goddamn drink now .. ah! joy, cheers! pass that little spliff while your at it jonny
 motobecane wrote:
Great song. Original by Ewan MacColl in 1949.  Father of Kirsty "In These Shoes?" MacColl.

 

 
Did`nt she sing on Fairytale of New York ?

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.


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

 
Aye, memories come a waltzin' when I hear this! Walking the streets of Hong Kong, DIRTY OLD TOWN! or Jakarta, DIRTY OLD TOWN! or Bogota, DIRTY OLD TOWN! or Tokyo, DIRTY OLD TOWN! and lately, Denver, DIRTY OLD TOWN! Soon, back in Boulder!
Many memories. Good song
 Kasimausi wrote:
Yaay, thanks for playing that! So many memories come with that song! You would never ever hear this song on one of our radio stations here. One of the many reasons I love RP!
{#Roflol} 
  Many reasons to love RP.  And hearing this song is one of them.
Yaay, thanks for playing that! So many memories come with that song! You would never ever hear this song on one of our radio stations here. One of the many reasons I love RP!
{#Roflol} 
 rdevine wrote:
Here's an interesting tidbit: the Gaelic word for 'kiss' is 'pog' with an accent over that 'o.'  Me ol' Da pronounced it as we would 'pogue.' Could this be a wee joke by the band?

 
According to Wikipedia: "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'".
One of my least favorite Pogues songs, but its still good to hear any Pogues on the radio.
Here's an interesting tidbit: the Gaelic word for 'kiss' is 'pog' with an accent over that 'o.'  Me ol' Da pronounced it as we would 'pogue.' Could this be a wee joke by the band?
Not a bad version of a legendary ballad :) makes me think of my childhood in Dublin
https://lordsofthedrinks.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/shanemacgowan.jpg?w=700
"Mmm, breakfast."
 Rotterdam wrote:

I think you mean, Irish. And it's definitely dirty, painful and there's bad dentistry on view. I think that was the whole idea. I think this group was all about poverty and anger - and music that is so gorgeous that it survives in whatever style its performed in. Brilliant group, and the music lasts for me. It's real. 

 
Nicely put!
 ziakut wrote:
English. Dirty. Painful. These guys need mouthwash and professional dentistry. Otherwise...they're great!

 
I think you mean, Irish. And it's definitely dirty, painful and there's bad dentistry on view. I think that was the whole idea. I think this group was all about poverty and anger - and music that is so gorgeous that it survives in whatever style its performed in. Brilliant group, and the music lasts for me. It's real. 
Love this. I learned this song from the Pogues, then went to Ireland and sang along in a pub to this version. Great memory!
This always makes me smile and remember the happy carefree days when I first discovered it...and I'm happy to hear it here!
English. Dirty. Painful. These guys need mouthwash and professional dentistry. Otherwise...they're great!
 Proclivities wrote:

 I told my boss that very phrase the other day... didn't work out so well.  The persistent problem of existence. 
 
Pffft! Almost choked on my beer. You're funny. 
To early for this over here...
 RoelantSiekman wrote:
I am not drunk enough, yet..
 
 I told my boss that very phrase the other day... didn't work out so well.  The persistent problem of existence. 
I am not drunk enough, yet..
Good song (did Rod Stewart do a version of this back in the 60's?), but a GREAT cd/album title—especially in view of the classic album cover!

 fredriley wrote:

Quite. Other than the Pogues, the only time I hear this song 'sung' is by loud pissants in pubs or staggering home. Which is fine if you're pissed (note for those across the Pond: pissed = drunk in UK English), but tedious and irritating if you're not.

 


UK English is English inn't it? Across the Pond they speak 'merican
 LongGoneDaddy wrote:
it's way to early for this shit...need a few drinks first to deal with this...
 
Quite. Other than the Pogues, the only time I hear this song 'sung' is by loud pissants in pubs or staggering home. Which is fine if you're pissed (note for those across the Pond: pissed = drunk in UK English), but tedious and irritating if you're not.

 BBOGDA wrote:
OK.  Sometimes I wonder why RP doesn't play the occasional or even rare hip-hop or rap song.  I realize those generas aren't everyone's cup of tea and also not my favorite, but there are some good songs out there, and I do like to occasionally listen to them.  Some are every bit as good as this song.  Yuk.
 
Now THAT is a very good point. I'd love to hear some good hip-hip and rap here even though I know it would not be liked by many. 

It only needs to be on occasionally. . . and would balance out this piece of shite. 
it's way to early for this shit...need a few drinks first to deal with this...
Wonder what Ewan MacColl would have made of the various versions of his Salford rant.
Great Music, Great Album!