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. If I Should Fall from Grace with God saw the departure of original bassist Cait O'Riordan and the addition of her former bandmate Darryl Hunt, Phil Chevron and ex-Steeleye Span member Terry Woods to the line-up. Woods and Chevron (the only two members of The Pogues actually born in Ireland) contributed the first original songs to a Pogues album not written by singer Shane MacGowan or banjo player Jem Finer, and the album also saw the band begin to move away from their Irish folk/punk roots and start to incorporate musical styles from other parts of the world, most notably Turkey and Spain. Many of the songs' lyrics return to familiar themes in Pogues songs, such as emigration from Ireland or returning to the country and having to adapt to the changes that have taken place after a long absence, but other tracks dwell on Irish political history or protecting children from the issues encountered as adults. Critically acclaimed, If I Should Fall from Grace with God marked the high point of the band's commercial success. Finer called the record "a very cohesive album that drew on a lot of styles. Everything came together and it was very focused. That [album is] really the creative peak for me, in terms of the whole band being on a wavelength."Wikipedia
Fuck, thats bordering a 5 So much good energy. Fuck it, it was funny as hell
A fat lip. A throbbing head. A full heart. It is observed that the Tibetan people (whose country and culture remains illegally occupied and oppressed by communist China) are among the happiest on earth, despite their circumstances. Their recipe? A constant contemplation of the everpresent reality of death that becomes their catalyst for the enjoyment of every moment, this moment. It’s all gravy, they giggle. Understand? I’ve found the Irish possessing a similar ability to dance in spite of their shackles, but not of the same fruit of active detachment from the illusionary external world of which the eastern religious traditions bring awareness; rather, the Irish find/choose joy in the midst of their active engagement with the muddy world, as well as the spirits that abide in it: whiskey (ponder why, exactly, alcohol has been classically identified as a spirit), followed by a good dust up, and then another whiskey. At some point, a weeping, snot nosed, good cry is in order. And all accompanied with music and song, dance, and fall. Another round of whiskey! There is an intentional and unwaverable attitude of joy in the Pogues’ music and lyrics, despite the worst that life (or the devil and all his fallen angels, sometimes even God himself) can bring. The Irish don’t raise a glass to celebrate poverty and oppression. They toast the Irish spirit, the human spirit, who rages against and endures the worst that life brings. Who fight it tooth and nail. Whose dying words echo the concluding lyrics of this LP- even when the worms be crawling in and around your brain, ‘Be merry, my friends. Be merry.’ Sweet Mary, Jesus, and all the saints, can’t the Pogues wander, musically: from traditional Irish folk music amped up a might with a punk edge. Celtic sounds pared with Latin flare. When did a Turkish song of the damned ever propel a person to dance a jig to salvation? Or singing 'The Rare Old Mountain Dew' in the drunk tank on Christmas Eve ever transfigure into something as earthly-holy as the feeding trough in Bethlehem in which the baby Jesus slumbered? ‘Metropolis’ even introduced this listener, at least, into the genre of Celtic jazz! Lyrics? Where do we begin? I’ve not heard anyone, other than the Pogues, use both the words ‘fuck (ed, ing, er, etc)’ and ‘Jesus’ in the same song (‘Bottle Of Smoke’) and with reverence for the meaning and importance of both. As expected, there’s plenty of love for the immigrant experience and celebration for the promised land of opportunity in America. Irish are certainly among the most grateful immigrants of the freedom and opportunity America provides. But so are Latinos and Africans, for whom the Pogues also sing. This LP, this band, is so much more than only ‘Irish.’ And yet, nothing less, somehow, too. Hey, what do I know? I’m WUI anyway, from my home, on a snow day in Denver (2 feet and rising.) Is it happy hour, yet, across the Alantic, to the east? My great-grandfather, Papa Hall Delaney, was an Irish immigrant and worked on the western U.S. railroad, eventually settling in San Francisco before he died, forcing my great grandmother, Nanny, to move back to Pasadena, Texas, where she lived out her days in a small apartment above the garage in the backyard of my grandparent’s home. At 29, when this LP was released, I was barely even aware of my Irish roots. I was spirited enough, that’s for sure, and too familiar with spirits, but not yet spiritual, Celtic or otherwise, so I didn’t’ know shite. Over the years, I’ve become more than familiar with the best and worst Irish blood can bring: an unfortunate propensity to the overindulgence of alcohol, an exaggerated and sometimes violent reaction to fear and despair, an uneasy alliance with church and society; but, also, a love of hearth and song, a longing for reconciliation and peace with Creator and creation. Caressing the beads of a rosary in morning devotion, after fishing it out of the toilet where it accidentally fell the night before- the Word became (too?) flesh. This is Irish, for me, in a sentence. Better yet, I believe this lyric in ‘Sit Down By The Fire’ kinda says everything one needs to know about the Pogues, this terrific LP, and the Irish and/or Irish-American experience in general: ‘Remember this place. It is damp and its cold. The best place on Earth. But it’s dark and its old. So lie near the wall and cover your head. Good night and God bless. Now fuck off to bed!’ I’ll conclude with Ireland’s greatest and most loved and loathed (and so, soo Irish), writer, Oscar Wilde: ‘We are all in the gutter. Some of us are looking at the stars.’ And raise your glass (and if you don’t already have one full, we’ll wait………………………………………………………………………………………………………….) for this most famous of Irish toasts: May you be in heaven a full half hour before the the devil knows you’re dead. I love ya all- that’s Jesus and the whiskey talking (and so, me…), Mark.
diddly dee done by the diddly dee masters. 19 songs is far too much diddly dee. my tolerance to diddly dee is about 3 songs, at that point i look for a different pub.
I'm obligated culturally to give this at least three stars, but the extra two stars are for its incredible quality as a piece of music.
This is just a completely classic album in every respect, with some absolutely historic songs. It's intensely replayable, and I really liked some of the deep cuts, like South Australia and Thousands are Sailing. Just completely HITS the Irish Diaspora that one. Some weird choices with the Spanish-themed tracks? But I dig it all.
One of my all time favorite albums.
I don't like folk music. Therefore this isn't folk music. It must be some obscure subset of punk.
As a disaffected youth, I got interested in my Irish background and asked for an album of Celtic music for Xmas one year. I got a James Galway album. Now, no disrespect to Mr Galway or the person who gave me that gift, but they can póg mo thóin, especially after I realised that this album could’ve been my Xmas present that year.
I love the Irish and sea shanty vibe, an album to put on for adventures and light-hearted pillaging :)
Celtic instrumentation and themes melded with punk style and enthusiasm? Yes, please!
Booze-soaked Irish fighting music plus one improbable Christmas smash and one God awful novelty hit.
A poppy, accessible and musically upbeat take on traditional Irish folk. The album incorporates a lot of other styles, but all somehow within an Celtic folk rock framework, which holds it together. A couple of ubiquitous classics - Fairytail of New York and Fiesta. A fun album, but with depth. A triumph. 4.5/5
When this music lands, it lands woth aplomb. When it misses, it's just kinda a soft flub.
The Folk completely kills all the excitement of the Punk. Pretty boring.
Don't care much for The Pogues in general and Shane McGowan in particular. Love traditional music, but not in a punk style. I like my traditional music traditional.
I went through a slight Pogues phase when I was maybe 20, and listened to their albums now and again across my 20s. Listening to this album now does not compel me to listen to them more. I found the album dull. Drunken lads doing drunken lad things, battles, male sadness. The Pogues did expose me to the first time to traditional Irish music, and I appreciate that; sometimes today I do listen to traditional Irish music. But I find the Pogues wallow in the music a bit too antic, and often tedious. Not for me.
Second album by The Pogues on the list, and I'm guessing it won't be the last. From here on out all Pogues albums will be getting a one from me. I'm not big on Irish folk music to begin with, but Shane MacGowan's drunken wailing makes it absolutely insufferable.
Punk roots! Grass roots!
Lovely album. lots of variety All good
i will always love the pogues, especially in their earlier days. there's hardly a poet out there who measures up to shane, and i hope the music always hits me right in the heart. i still love rum, sodomy & the lash more than this one, but they're both 7-star albums in my book.
Takes me back to Sunday arvos at Duggan’s. The diversity in the tone of this album make these go up the order of favourite songs, and rustle my inner Irish Jimmies
Me encanta este estilo
On of my all time favourites.
Een album puur amusement! Maakt vaak niet uit wie de groep is, maar dit genre is gewoon 100% m'n ding
In Manhatten’s desert twilight in the death of afternoon, we stepped hand in hand on Broadway, like the first man on the moon. And a blackbird broke the silence as you whistled it so sweet, and in Brendan Behan’s footsteps I danced up and down the street. Adios!
Fairytale of New York!
Really dig this, I'd heard of the Pogues and I must have heard a song or two in the past since it's very familiar. It's Punk, it's Irish folk, it's Polka, lots of surly vocals and lyrics with a solid accompaniment using all kinds of instruments. Metropolis is almost like an orchestral piece. Definitely adding to my playlist. They cover a lot of ground in this album but it all lands.
August 3, 2021 I really enjoyed this! Again this one fuses two different styles of music I already enjoy. Looking forward to more of this.
This is why I love this album a day thing. This album
Favs: If I Should Fall from Grace with God, Fiesta, Lullaby of London, Sit Down by the Fire, Thousands Are Sailing Mehs: No mehs. Irish rabble-rousing tunes: guts, soul, and dancing. Great fun. Only The Pogues sound like The Pogues.
Excellent album, so good I listened twice back-to-back.
An absolute classic.
Really liked Turkish Song of the Damned Metropolis reminds me of Batman for some reason... The Irish Rover, how can you *not* sing along to this cracker!
Amazing album. Just has all the feels. Good one for vinyl.
Loved it. So energetic!
An absolute riot! So much fun to listen to and a surprising amount of range for a band who might be considered a pissed up, one-trick pony. From the moment the accordion refrain kicks in, leading the title track, we're on a wild ride into either glory or oblivion, and feeling like either one is deserved. Together with the frenetic tempo, and MacGowan's vocals, the overall feel is jubilant yet jaded, triumphant but angry... all at once. A fantastic way to open an album, and I can't see anybody listening and not wanting to either dance on the table or sink a thousand pints. If that doesn't do it, the following 1-2 of "Turkish Song of the Damned" (that amazing outro jig) and "Bottle of Smoke" certainly will. It's all brilliantly orchestrated, with rich instrumentation from accordion, tin-whistles, banjo, mandolin and cello to some unexpected brass in "Metropolis" and "Fiesta". MacGowan's voice is not going to be to everyone's taste, but it's often sweetened by unison accordion lines or backing vocals. It also suits the material perfectly: he's magnetic as a drunken storyteller from the bottom of someone's glass, in equal measure revelling in chaos, sharing his history, lamenting his situation. Nestled in amongst the frantic knees-ups are songs that feel like moments of lucidity, featuring either down-and-out deadbeats or Irish heritage. "Thousands are Sailing", "Streets of Sorrow" and "Lullaby of London" are heartfelt and sincere, weaving their narratives and characters perfectly into the music. I haven't even mentioned the most famous offering, "Fairytale of New York": for all its bitterness, it somehow (deservedly) broke through to become embedded in UK culture as a favourite Christmas song of all time. But here, it's just one of many brilliant character portraits. I was tempted to mark this down because "Worms" is such an odd, left-field closer, but there's so much greatness elsewhere on the record that one duff minute at the end can be forgiven.
YESSSSSS! The title track sets up this celtic rock masterpiece. Turkish Song of the Damned is a thundering folk piece. Fairy Tale of New York is a ballad of a drunk sung by a drunk. Like quite honestly, his voice is sooooooo bad. Fiesta is a lot of fun. Worms is a great closer.
have to listen more of this :)
This was very very good. And even though it contains the accursed fairytale, it also has a version of the Irish Rover with the Dubliners. Fiesta isn't bad either.
Just perfect in its execution against its aims. "It was Christmas Eve in the drunk take" is an all-time opening line -- in song or literature. Who knew the Irish lads could do Turkish and Spanish and Aussie so well? (Well, we knew the Aussie a bit.) Just not a wrong foot placed here, in spite of the legendary sloppiness. Great fun besides. Only quibble would be the relative lack of singalong "smash hits" here vs other records which lacked the consistent ambience or pervasive depth of this one.
The differnt style, the crazed lyrics and the urgency make this a solid album. But what I enjoyed was that it was fun all the songs were bangers.
Makes me wanna learn Scottish dancing lol
🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜🟧🟧🟧🟧 🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜🟧🟧🟧🟧 🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜🟧🟧🟧🟧 🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜🟧🟧🟧🟧 🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜🟧🟧🟧🟧 🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜⬜🟧🟧🟧🟧
Really cool Irish folk/punk music mashup. Some really memorable interesting music here. The lead singer can be very mumbly at times, but this is probably the progenitor of stuff like Bedouin Soundclash, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, etc.
Great album - feel like I have known it all my life. A defining album of its era
Awesome stuff! I don't think I'd heard this Pogues album before, but I think I like it even more than "Rum Sodomy & The Lash"! The addition of Spanish and Turkish influences really does good things... Fave track - "Thousands Are Sailing", maybe, though I'm sure more listens would offer other favourites to choose from!
Folk-Punk now there's a Genre and these lads are the pinnacle of this particular scene. Such an influential band, mixing the storytelling of Irish Folk music with the energy of the Clash. some lovely songs here with Shane at his imperious best as the main vocalist. Love "Bottle Of Smoke" "Turkish Song Of The Damned" and of course the classic "Fairytale of New York" with one of my personal favourite female vocalist Kirsty MacColl. Great album rightfully on the list in my opinion.
This is really something else, joyful, unabashed, and gets you up and dancing. I hadn't considered the brilliance of The Pogues as well, like most people I'd overdosed on that bloody Christmas song. But this is a real brilliant musical education. Fab many times over.
A joyous album when compared to Rum Sodomy and Lash. Some of the bands best work and such an interesting mix of many different styles of music. Now I am off to do a jig
Like with a lot of these bands, I’ve heard of the Pogues but never heard anything by them. Upon first listen, I really dig them. I love Madness and I can clearly see they were influenced by this band, and I love when dark lyrics are put on a happy and upbeat background. I grew up listening to polkas and this takes me back there in a way. These songs really rock and I want to add them to my playlist, but I’m hesitating because I feel like this music doesn’t belong to me? Like I’m somehow not allowed to listen to this because I’m not an Irishman during the trouble. Unlike the other albums I’ve listened to so far, this band and album have carved out a distinct place in history and I’m really not sure it still holds up today, but still great to listen to for the history and the pure fun of the album. Shane’s screams between refrains are really delightful. His voice in general adds a very unique razor blade edge to the otherwise vanilla instrumentation. Everyone is obviously very talented and it comes through in their music. Thoroughly good album that I’ll be returning to. The last album generated for me was Let it Be by the Replacements, made for 16 year old rebels. This album is for those rebels, now 20 and entering adulthood still with their rebel spirits. My favorites: If I Should Fall From Grace with God, Turkish Song of the Damned, Birmingham Six, Sit Down By the Fire
How can you go wrong with classic Irish folk/early Irish punk? Wonderful album, start to finish.
I gave up drinking a few months ago. For the last 20 years, I’ve gone hard on the piss – I don’t have the full-time alcoholic gene, but I fall very easily into a pattern of spending all my spare time either drunk or hungover. As a result, giving up alcohol at 38 has left a vacuum in my day-to-day life where lots of things just aren’t the same anymore. If I Should Fall from Grace with God is one of those albums that’s basically perfect on every front. The songs are incredibly well written – IMO the worst song on it is the hit single – and the band manages to sound both sloppy and tight at the same time, which is a huge achievement. MacGowan’s more of a wordsmith than a lyricist. It runs the full gamut of working-class existence, from working a shitty job, to having a punt, to going on a cheap holiday… drinking yourself stupid the entire time. It somehow celebrates its own misery. I can’t explain it any better than that, but it makes Springsteen seem like a 3rd-grader by comparison. To tie these points together: my entire adult life I’ve idolised this album and Shane MacGowan. More accurately, The Pogues have been the house band to a life spent mostly sozzled. It’s one of the few times you can feel genuinely good about being a stinking-drunk piece of shit. “I’m not a wastrel! I have the soul of a poet!” and so on. I don’t have many “oh my god, I wish I could crack a beer right now” moments, but hearing this album for the first time since going clean sorta brang one on. It didn’t worry me; mostly it simply drove home just how legitimately excellent the album is. But it is also a bittersweet thought: despite what they tell you, not EVERYTHING improves when you give up drinking. 5/5.
From my viewpoint this is the best Pogues release. It it stylistically varied, yet cohesive. In many ways adventurous as they move way beyond the Irish folk/punk mix of their first two discs. It is hard not to fall under Shane MacGowan's irascible charm A very happy album about troubled times and bleakness. Plus, one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.
The best part of this, program, for lack of a better word is that it reminds us all to revisit favorite albums that were important during a certain time and in a certain place. This is just such an album. for me And what a great album. The Pogues best in my opinion. All great songs that allow the memories to come flooding back, (Streets of Sorrow / The Birmingham 6, literally brought me to tears). And other songs, like Turkish Song of the Damned, Bottle of Smoke, If I Should Fall From Grace and of course the iconic Christmas tale of wretched characters that is Fairytale of New York, simply one of the greatest songs ever written. So yes this is an easy 5 star album for me, but I am admittedly biased. As an aside it led me to play other forgotten and underrated Pogues albums like the way underpreciated Peace and Love, I encorage you to check it out if you are new to The Pogues and enjoyed If I Should Fall From Grace (but only after Rum Sodomy and the Lash)
just wow... come in knowing nothing u hear will be the tone of the album other than it is a cultural mesh of fun 🤣
Great album, I will listen many times
So many good songs on this album. Shane at his best (the band always was).
Again a no brainer. One of the best collections of music by a truly inspired band. Shane's ability to create memorable melodies is other worldly.
I do love this record.
Fun, snarky, upbeat and cynical. Heartbreaking euphoric anthems.
Such a unique sound to it , I love it
Ovo i rum sodomy and lash su mi najdraži pougesi
I think this has most of the Pogues songs i know on it. A really good time.
The album that made me first fall in love with The Pogues. Shane MacGowan sounds drunk through half the songs, and he probably was. But it works. Such a great mixture of Celtic music and punk long before The Dropkick Murphy's was a thing. I like 'em both, but The Pogues will always top that list. Listened to this one a ton back in the day, and it was wonderful to revisit an old favourite
I’m about 50 albums In and this is my second Pogues album. Based on those odds I have about another 18 Pogues albums to listen too, which I’m excited for. The first album I thought was going to be gimmicky but I was blown away at the sincere and awesome attempt at Irish Punk Rock. This album was the same, but different. I feel like it didn’t have the highs and lows of the first album but it was just such a greatly constructed passionate album. It’s clear they have a live for the style of music and it sold me. Nothing was half assed. I’m a fan and look forward to however many more Pogues albums managed to make the list
An outstanding album, full of vigour and snarl and joy. The songwriting is extraordinary, real emotion, full of pathos and fully realised stories. Fairy Tale of New York has not lost its lustre after all these years and Bottle of Smoke is one of the great songs: an inveterate gambler celebrates his bet coming in, a fifty to the wife, fivers for the kids, everything is right, everyone else is wrong and this is my last ever bet even though the listener knows this to be untrue. Brilliant storytelling.
Just fantastic! I bought this album when it came out and although I don’t listen to it very often now I still absolutely love it. It ranges from the political ‘ Birmingham Six’ to the almost Shakespearean, epic treatise on mortality - ‘Worms’, the words of which I still recite at people. ‘Fairytale of New York’ is still the best Christmas song ever. The lyrics and arrangements and beautiful musicianship make this an absolute classic. Rousing!
I'd checked out the pogues a big cuz big name in certain circles but didn't realize how dope they were. This was probably my favorite unfamiliar album I've done on this thing. 5 stars is an exaggeration but nobody reads this anyway...
Finally, my time has come, an Irish band. I honestly think Fairytale of New York might be the only reason this album is on this list. This kind of music is reserved for being played live in pubs in my mind. Not a sit and listen on Spotify type of album. But that doesn't make it any less fun to listen to. 5 Stars for being Irish.
Punk-folk celta. Vinilo.
When folk, punk and whisky came together, something brilliant happened. It starts with the rousing title track, after which the musical journey continues through various landscapes. A modern version of the Irish traditional The Broad Majestic Shannon is effortlessly alternated with the dreamy Lullaby of London and the uptempo carnavalesque Fiesta, which again is very different from the melancholy of (Christmas) single Fairytale of New York, in which the late Kirsty MacColl sings. An absolute masterpiece
Amazing. I just love this sound. The raw energy and attitude of punk paired with the universally understood melodies and chords of Celtic music. Have the accordion and flute paired with fast drumming is so engaging, and the most punk thing about the band is their ability to slow down and play a ballad as well. I love this sound and it makes me nostalgic to a place I have no connection to!
This album may as well be part of my DNA… loved it as a kid, love it just the same now.
This was brilliant from start to finish. The biggest downside was listening to one of the most famous Christmas songs in March. I honestly enjoyed every song but 'Thousands are Sailing' was a stand out. The opening song just gets the juices flowing. I nearly ran to Pogue Mahones Bar in town to order a Guinness. I will gladly return to this album many times
So, my only real experience with The Pogues up to this point has been Fairytale of New York, which I think is one of the greatest Christmas songs. However, seeing that on here I wasn't sure if the rest of the album would be like that too, and I could have seen myself getting a bit bored with a whole album of that sort of thing. I was pleasantly mistaken! This proved to be a wonderful Celtic punk album with plenty of that Irish folk flair but also with a bit of Turkish and Spanish influence in a few songs. It was rocky enough to keep me hooked, but that wonderful Celtic folk instrumentation paired with Shane McGowan's gruff voice makes me want to find a cozy village pub with a warm fire, have a couple of drinks and simply celebrate my place in this big scary world. This was a really pleasant album that I liked a lot more than I was initially expecting. Favourite: Bottle of Smoke
Inte fullt lika bra som Rum, sodomy and the lash men tillräckligt bra för toppbetyg.
this was pleasantly surprising! can’t beat fairytale of new york
Excellent Irish folk. 7/10 FT: Thousands are sailing
This is a tough one. The songs are all great, and I can see why it would be an all-timer for some, but this isn’t a type of music I would search out very often. But as an album, it is fantastic. Obv Fairytale, but Lullaby and Majestic Shannon are almost as timeless. Solid 4, and a 4.5 on some days.
I've seen Flogging Molly a bunch but never listened to the Pogues. Can see the evolution. Good stuff, sounds like it would be fun drunk, disappointed I got this in dry January. Favorite tracks: "Fairytale of New York", "Thousands are Sailing", "Medley: The Recruiting Sergeant"
1 of the greatest Christmas songs, 2 other good songs the rest is a mixed bag
På vei til butikken for å kjøpe fløyte, mandolin, banjo og trekkspill
Great Irish folk-punk. I should have listened to this long ago since I love fairytale of New York
I actually really enjoyed this album!
A fun, varied, and at times emotional album. Competent musicianship meets clever arranging and songwriting. Reminds me of the Levelers a bit.
Fun, folk music
Irish classic feel good mixed with some American blue swing- love fiesta. Great fun and energy
I was pretty blown away by this. I expected to like it, but I was not expecting the level of quality and diversity of the music. I was thinking the Pogues were just a bunch of drunken punks, but they are really good musicians as well. 4 stars.