Many people’s only contact with the music of The Pogues is their Christmas hit with Kirsty MacColl, “A Fairytale In New York”.
However, look deeper into their back catalogue, and there are some gems. The band combine traditional Irish instrumentation and rhythms with some cynical punk sensibilities. It certainly makes for an interesting combination!
Not only that, but the lead singer Shane McGowan has a gift for songwriting. His lyrics are poetic and profound without being overblown or airheaded, his melodies are classic, and his own singing is crusty but nevertheless on point.
The melody for “A Pair Of Brown Eyes” is based on an old Scottish folk tune called “Wild Mountain Thyme”, but the version in this is more mournful, and in my opinion, hits harder. It is a very folksy tune, nonetheless.
The song came out in 1985, on the album Rum, Sodomy & The Lash.
Quite a lovely song really…