Chosen by E.P.

INTRO (from Wiki)

If I Should Fall from Grace with God is the third studio album by Irish folk-punk band The Pogues, released on 18 January 1988.
Released in the wake of their biggest hit single, “Fairytale of New York”, If I Should Fall from Grace with God also became the band’s best-selling album, peaking at number 3 in the UK Album Charts and reaching the top ten in several other countries.



Mick – “Frantic start from the off here, lots of shouting and diddle, had a touch of the hoedown going on with the rhythm. Classic stuff for me. Turkish Song of the Damned is absolutely one of my favourites on the album, story telling setting the scene with the music (think this is what Jack L was looking for with the album from a few weeks ago). Great middle Eastern elements of music and a whopper of an outro. Bottle of Smoke is an absolute fighting song, just put it on and start a row.
Fairytale of New York doesn’t need explaining for me, it’s a gem that for me hasn’t aged no matter hearing it a billion times before. I think its probably Shane’s most legible song too, he can be hard to follow lyrically at times on the album I think (probably the 7 pints of gin but sure whatevs).
I looked up a lot of the lyrics cause at times he is tough to follow, some really powerful songs about tough times Thousands Are Sailing got me a lot, very relevant of Ireland’s emigration woes of 1000’s of young people. Song about hope and then hits ya with the not so glorious side of emigration:
‘When I got back to my empty room
I suppose I must have cried’
I’m not crying, I’m chopping onions!
Fiesta is a belter, just joy joy joy. Does exactly what it says – awesome track. Who’s that singing on Streets of Sorrow? Beautiful stuff.
I’ll be honest I think I get a little diddley-eyed out after about 9 songs of this album, kinda feel a little like Worms perfectly describes me.
As a finisher I think The Battle March Melody is probably my favourite on the album, stunning music, would make a notoriously unproud Irishman proud. Perfect flow throughout.
I’ve only listened to it twice before this week and was actually given it on vinyl about two months back so that’s getting a serious playing in the future. I would finally say I really like The Pogues but in small doses every now and again, I think too often would kill me. Great shout E.P., loved it!”

Ice – “I never actually listened to this or any trad album throughout before! Don’t think I even heard a trad song sober either!
If I Should Fall From the Grace with God is a catchy foot tapper of a tune. I liked the interesting Turkish Song of the Damned with the trad theme they had going throughout this song. Vocally, I’m not a fan – I should surely be able to understand what an Irish man is singing? That said I would probably dance to this!
Bottle of Smoke – I didn’t get much vocally except for the title of the song and the odd curse. But musically I thought the mix of the various instruments at play was very good. I’d defo have the head nodding with a pint in my hand to this one
Well I wouldn’t be able to list words to say how amazing Fairytale of New York is, original, unique, iconic, timeless? Christmas would not be the same without it, I love every element of this song!
The intro to Metropolis was class and went from there. I wanted to get up in work and do a jig! The flute was brilliant and vocals were not missed, good on ya boy ya!
I was happy to understand the vocals on Thousands Are Sailing. The lyrics were great describing our history and I welcomed the other vocalist, chorus was pretty cool too!
I didn’t even realise Fiesta was a Pogues song. I remember it from a TV advert back in the day. The sax tune is world famous! Yeehaa!
Who is this guy singing the start of Medley: The Recruiting Sergeant / The Rocky Road of Dublin / Galway Races, and why doesn’t he sing more? That said, for a change I can actually make out some of Shane’s vocals on this one. Defo heard this before, great musical collaboration.
Streets of Sorrow was a nice pit stop. Why do I think of Sol sitting back with a whiskey listening or even singing this? Also a great tribute to the Birmingham Six. Lullaby of London and The Broad Majestic Shannon kinda came and went.
I think The Battle March Medley was nice, perhaps good background music on a film. It took a while but when it stepped up half way through, I really enjoy it! Yerrr!
Shane’s drunken voice grew on me the more I listened to it, I know he aint the best singer but perhaps that’s his charm (drunken Irish) as you could sing to any of his songs and feel you were giving it a good go! I think the musicians were class throughout. I really enjoyed most of the album but I feel I need to be in a Irish bar with a pint to enjoy it to the max!”

Sol – “I am divided on this album – there is a lot I like about it but there is also a lot I found myself skipping. As Ice mentioned, I feel you don’t get the best from a Trad band unless you’re in a pub with a good crowd and loadsa Guinness and whiskey. I tend to lean more towards ballads as opposed to diddley-eye Irish songs. I can completely appreciate the musicians but they don’t hit me like a good ballad.
Turkish Song of the Damned was very interesting with the mix of the two genres, it grew on me throughout the week, the chorus was very catchy (not that I could pick up on the lyrics) the tin whistle throughout and the last 30 second showdown were class.
I loved Streets of Sorrow, sounded a bit like Christy Moore. I actually like Shane’s voice, albeit a bit difficult to understand due to the copious amount of drink consumed and the serious lack of teeth!
Thousands Are Sailing is a wonderful song, I had never heard it before, the lyrics are very touching. The instrumental arrangement throughout is class, great blend of trad instruments along with the drums really does work (unless I’m very wrong and it is a bodhran).
I didn’t realise Fiesta was them, ya can’t but like that song and bust a little move or two when you hear it.
Wasn’t mad on Sit Down by the Fire and The Broad Majestic Shannon, not offensive just didn’t do it for me. Worms was just weird!
I did enjoy The Battle March Medley, a bit diddley-eye but I like it.
The Irish Rover is a classic, love Ronnie Drew and Shane singing together, they are so different than each other. Now this is definitely a feel good toe tapping jigging n reeling drinking song.
I did enjoy the fast tempo of South Australia, again I could imagine being in a pub for this and everyone dancing about.
I won’t go into Fairytale of New York as nothing I could say would differ from what’s been said already, just a pure gem that will still be played 200 years later.
As an album as a whole, I wouldn’t be going back to it too often but I did take away 3/4 new songs that I really liked and will definitely be playing them again when I’m in my Irish music mood. Enjoyed this week as I would have never went and listened to the album if it wasn’t for this group and it reminded me of what it’s all about.”

Molly – “Really liked this album. I have The Pogues Best Of album, but didn’t really have any of their albums. Was happy to give this a listen.
It starts of great with a good fiddle. They kind of got Irish trad and made it a bit punky! Rode the wave of emigration from Ireland.
Turkish Song of the Damned is a bit of a mix, doesn’t sit quite well but it works. Bottle of Smoke is a belter of a tune, definitely should be used to cover a bar room brawl in a movie.
Fairytale of New York is their pension song! Fiesta is their best tune (after Fairytale of New York of course)! This should be the national anthem.
I like Lullaby of London and of course aul Ronnie on The Irish Rover was a stroke of genius – cynical marketing ploy or genuine happiness to work with their hero?
Overall, top album E.P.!”

Spud – “As soon as the album starts, I wish I was in a pub back home in Dublin. This is not a good album for listening to in work!
The title track and opener is a standard trad song for me. The Middle Eastern-sounding intro and elements throughout Turkish Song of the Damned is an interesting mix and I liked it. Bottle of Smoke is decent – rowdy, both musically and lyrically, and it’s the kind of thing Flogging Molly et al. have tried to emulate.
Fairytale of New York, as great of a ballad it is, shouldn’t be listened to at any time of the year other than Christmas. It’s weird.
Two things I really enjoy in music are brass and instrumentals. So Metropolis was a big winner for me – the best find on the album.
Thousands Are Sailing is a great song – good lyrics and I enjoyed the slower pace, the banjo is class here too. South Australia is standard, but the session properly kicks off again with Fiesta, luring you in with a slow and sultry intro and then the party starts! Great feel-good song with lots of brass!
Medleys are such a big part of Irish music and I love the seamless transition from The Recruiting Sergeant to The Rocky Road of Dublin to Galway Races – brilliant. I didn’t think this worked so well with Streets of Sorrow / Birmingham Six.
To be honest, the home stretch of the album is much weaker; Lullaby of London is filler, The Battle March Medley takes too long to get going (I’m still not sure if it’s worth the wait), Sit Down by the Fire is the same song as Bottle of Smoke, The Broad Majestic Shannon is a poor Fairytale of New York, and Worms is probably about as good as having worms.
60% thumbs up, 40% thumbs down.”

Agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments below


  • Thousands Are Sailing
  • Fiesta


From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy

Listen along with us for the week and check out our reviews next Sunday!

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