It means: You’re an ordinary wo/man, nothing special, nothing grand. And you never forget your shovel when you need to go to work.
Keep your Sex Pistols. The Pogues were the real deal – dirty, unshaven, profane, practically toothless and usually drunk. And that was just Shane MacGowan. Like tragic Irish genius Brendan Behan, Shane was capable of creating both breathtaking beauty and heartbreaking sadness in his work. Written in 1987, “Fairytale of New York” captures a time and a place, but it’s also timeless in expressing the loneliness of the immigrant Christmas experience.
It means: Oh, just admit it: you’re a bum, you’re a punk, you’re an old slut on junk.
It’s hard to believe that the Dublin group have been together 37 years – ever since some kid named Larry Mullen Jr. posted a “Help wanted” sign on their school bulletin board in 1976. They’re rock royalty, in the same league as legends like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Bono has lost the mullet, Edge gained a hat, Adam shaved off that hilarious perm and Larry -- well, he kind of looks the same. But the band’s enduring appeal is the freshness they bring to every album.
It means: You still haven’t found what you’re looking for. And you’re STILL a little jealous of the girl Bono picked out of the audience at Live Aid.
Trying to pick the best singer in the super-talented Black family is like trying to decide between a Ferrari or a Porsche – kind of a toss-up. Mary’s been the most high-profile member of the family, starting out with De Dannan before going on to a successful solo career singing both Irish and adult contemporary material. Signature songs include “School Days Over” and “Anachie Gordon.”
It means: You turn the stereo volume up loud when singing along to “Song for Ireland” because you can’t hit her high notes.
They’ve had more drummers than Spinal Tap, but the Tuam, Co. Galway band has been a constant presence on Irish music scene since they hit big with “I Useta Lover” a million years ago. Davy Carton and Leo Moran handled most of the songwriting duties, producing classics like “Green and Red of Mayo” and “N17.” They’re currently on hiatus, which fans hope will produce a trove of new songs.
It means: You’re a GAA fanatic who probably roots for Maroon and White. You also – against all sensible advice -- have an irresistible urge to climb on top of any trailer hauling bales of hay.
New York’s seminal Celtic rock band is calling it a day in 2014, which will mark 25 years of musical mayhem. The band got its start in 1989 when they played the Bainbridge Ave. strip in the Bronx. Their breakthrough album was “Fire of Freedom,” which spawned the monster hit “Funky Ceili” and led to appearances on late night TV with Conan O’Brien and David Letterman. They made Paddy Reilly’s Pub in Manhattan a must-visit for an eclectic mix of celebrities, punks, Kennedys and scenesters.
It means: You spent many a night squeezed into a corner of Paddy Reilly’s, drinking Guinness and shouting to be heard over “Forty Shades of Blue.”