The Song that Got Away

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.


  1. This is great Pete. I love Irish music. I love the Irish, and always wanted to visit Dublin. I have a friend there. But it will not happen now. Only thing is, they have terrible weather there! The song is great though.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Everywhere else in Ireland (except Cork) I found people far more chilled. There’s a thing – if you’re looking for an audiobook you could do worse than reading some Irish history. A lot of the songs I like actually came from something in real life.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I know they do. We have a big collection of Irish songs. And know the stories behind them. My friend actually is a man, (purely friend lol) and he is a very political one. He isn’t at all violent, but he can get a bit worked up about political matters. He often talks about Irish history. It’s funny you should say that about books though, because yesterday I did purchase a book about the potatoe famine. Well, it was a novel set in that time abd the story is based on truth. Should be interesting. I am an avid reader of history actually, though I haven’t read anything historical for a while. But must admit none of it has been Irish history.


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