Now you can tell I've got no time for nationalists when it comes to the issue of Ireland, (or anywhere else for that matter) but that doesn't mean you can't sing songs of protest against injustice. Unlike these sods in the bar here, The Pogues live on that island, so soaked in blood that it's a wonder that the colour hasn't changed from green to red in all the years since the troubles started with that British/Roman Patrick led wave of invaders. Did that "Proud To Be Irish" know his "not Irish-enough" band was the first to piss the Brits off with their song of support for the "Birmingham Six", who rotted in jail for something thing hadn't done?
Ah, but then "Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six" isn't a rousing nationalist song designed for singing along to now is it. Especially that "Streets Of Sorrow", it almost sounds like they're against the struggle, the wankers. How can they say "I long to find some solace/In my mind I curse the strain/So farewell you streets of sorrow/And farewell you streets of pain". It sounds like traitor to the cause talk that does.
Oh, aye what would they know about Ireland, 'side from the fact that they grew up on the streets of damnation and sorrow. You know the country where thousands fled supposedly to the new world of salvation only to find a different form of slavery or whatever waiting for them. "Thousands Are Sailing" doesn't go down well with the new world crowd of affluent Irish bankers and other assorted professionals as it tells of those who didn't do any better over here then they did under the British.
You can hear the anger bubble around the room when that tune is played on a crowded night, which of course is no longer the case in this particular bar where it's important to keep the "Irish" happy and buying their imported beers and whiskies. Way back in 1987 when the Pogues had first put out If I Should Fall From Grace With God they had as much chance of being welcomed in the door of this pub as the guy in the Orange Sash and the bowler hat did.
Even on a warm Sunday in mid June with them all out having pretensions of literary appreciation listening to a local drama group mangling the words of the greatest English language writer of the twentieth century, the bar staff has to be careful to get it out of the player and something more appropriately "Irish" back on before they come here for post performance pints.
I smile appreciatively at the barman and decide that I should be facing the day after all. Go out into the sun and see what ghosts the rest of the day will be bring.