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They Gave the Walls A Talking: The Pogues and Shane MacGowan

In this episode of the Irish Baseball Podcast, Rick Becker speaks with Steven Jenkins of the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, OK, about the exhibit, “They Gave the Walls A Talking.” The exhibit celebrates The Pogues and Shane MacGowan.

No band epitomizes the fusion of Irish music and punk rock better than The Pogues. Led by the enigmatic Shane McGowan, The Pogues carved out a unique space in the music world, blending traditional Irish melodies with a punk sensibility that captured the imagination of audiences worldwide.

The exhibition, which features contributions from Victoria Mary Clark, Shane’s partner of 40 years, aims to reignite appreciation for a band that played a vital role in shaping the musical landscape of the past 50 years. It includes rare artifacts such as handwritten lyrics, artwork, and personal memorabilia.

McGowan, with his gravelly voice and raw lyricism, penned some of The Pogues’ most beloved songs, including the timeless classic “Fairytale of New York.” This song, with its haunting melody and evocative storytelling, has become a holiday staple and a symbol of The Pogues’ enduring legacy.

For many, The Pogues may be synonymous with “Fairytale of New York,” but their influence extends far beyond this iconic track. Bands like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, as well as artists like Bruce Springsteen, have drawn inspiration from The Pogues’ fusion of Irish tradition and punk rock energy.