Murder on Raglan Road

Stretchmarking the universe with mummylicious bubbles!

I remember as a young Stretch hearing “Raglan Road” performed by one of my cousins at some party back

The future, yeah? my hole

The future, yeah? my hole

in the way-back-when. Too young to be involved, and too terrified of old weird gummy relations shoving money into my pockets expectantly, I hovered around the music observing the ways of the sing-song. Of all the amazing music from these sessions, the renditions of “A Long Way from Clare to Here” and “Raglan Road” have always kinda haunted me. At this time I had just heard Led Zeppellin IV, so I had to readjust my mind to this old style religion.

Years later, after arse-ripping experiences such as WASP’s “I Wanna Be Somebody” and Motley Crue’s “Talk Dirty to Me” I first heard Luke Kelly’s version of “Raglan Road.” It was a revelation. At that time the youths I knew were split into disparate groups, with a code of one-type-of-music-only-please. Cure heads, rockers, punks, mods, goths, big-fisted country Smoky fans, pantsuit-wearing new romantics:  a melting pot with some of the most obnoxious ingredients. I realised that in a small way, I could listen to other types of music like trad, country, death metal, Stooges, bluegrass, cajun, and still feel that because of my Anthrax t-shirt that I was still part of one of the individual food groups.

It meant that I could take a slagging for listening to Boxcar Willie or Louis Armstrong (pre-advertisements days), with the knowledge that later on in life, I would listen to whatever I want without feeling uncool or sumthin. I didn’t remove my fingerless gloves or tie-dye t-shirts or cut-off t-shirts and decide that I’m a grown up now: Where’s my copy of  A Rush of Blood to the Head?etc In reality, I pretty much dress the same now as I did when I was an eleven year old Stretch. What I’m trying to say is, Yeah, I’m fucking great and better than you!

Luke Kelly defined that song to the extent that I cringe mercilessly when I hear other versions of it, which is fine when I’m watching on TV or sniggering at the radio, but when someone sings it at a party, my stomach lurches and my blood pressure goes up from trying to stay stony-faced as other people nod. The weird thing about it is that anytime I hear anyone sing “The Auld Triangle” I love it. (Check out the Pogues version).  The effect just isn’t the same.

To illustrate my point I will cause whoever bothers to read my mlog to watch some examples of the atrocities committed, sometimes well-meaningly, on this great song. At the end, Luke Kelly will do for you what he did for me, back when I was as small as baboon’s testicle.

nothing like talking slowly and being earnest to make me vomit until the morning star holds my hair back and says, “will I make you a piece of toast?”

Phil Coulter, Ireland’s first soft-porn star forces Mary Black to sing outside in the freezin cold, in a trench coat so large that she became embroiled in the Watergate scandal with no mention of cocaine whatsoever. Oh no

Irlandia’s self proclamed King of the Travellers eats my vomit then vomits it all over me. Oh the lack of dignity is shockin (fake Dubalin accent). Nice guitar tho, but shut up ya bollocks. I’d say Satan was the one doing the kneeling on this occasion.


see, you can’t actually kill Damien Dempsey, it would be too ironic and you’d only annoy yourself. Beheading the prick and stuffing a rag in his mouth might work though.

anyway here’s the original and y’know….

Still can’t find Motley Crue’s version

6 thoughts on “Murder on Raglan Road

  1. And just what is wrong with Coldplay, Stretch?

    Actually, I’d prefer if you didn’t answer that question. Forget I asked.

    Elbow rock!

  2. ‘nothing like talking slowly and being earnest to make me vomit until the morning star holds my hair back and says, “will I make you a piece of toast?”’

    This is the most poetic line in the entire post, INCLUDING Kavanagh!

    I much prefer:

    “On Pembroke Road look out for my ghost, Dishevelled, with shoes untied, Playing through the railings with little children, Whose children have long since died”

    On Pembroke Road

  3. Yo!, The Luke Kelly version is good for the specific reason that he emotionally connects with the song and realizes that he is singing a dirge, not for the girl who has gone but for the love he had and the time he spent in it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s