I was going to present this one for Song Lyric Sunday last weekend, but I thought of a song I preferred, so presented that one instead. I try only to present one song per week, so I let this one slide, but it is a brilliant Irish track so I thought I’d put it out there today.
The subject last week was gemstones, and I thought of a song whose title contained a less-glamorous gemstone, garnet. Garnet has been used as a gemstone since the middle ages, and although we usually think of it as a dark red, it can exist in many colours. The term garnet actually describes a group of similar minerals (silicates), which are only different to each other because of the “impurities” of other elements being present. Hence the different colours.
My choice was going to be an album track, The Snake With the Eyes of Garnet, by Shane MacGowan and the Popes on their 2002 album, The Rare Oul’ Stuff. After he finished with The Pogues, Shane clubbed together with some Irish musicians and The Popes are the result. They were far more into live performances than studio albums, although they made a couple. I figure that most of us probably like Irish music, so what the hey?
A very brief explanation of the lyrics you will hear:
- James Mangan (1803-49) was a Dublin-born poet. He died from cholera, and after his death, his work became synonymous with the nationalist cause.
- [St.] Stephen’s Green (my featured image) is a green right in the centre of Dublin. During the English Occupation, it was a popular location for executions.
The Snake With the Eyes of Garnet.