Peg O’ My Heart – Dropkick Murphys (Feat. Bruce Springsteen)

If I look at how much of my record collection comes from Boston Mass it is a disproportionate amount. What I’m measuring against is some ethereal arbitrary unwritten standard of course. I would expect to have a lot of record from London (born there), from Essex (grew up there), from Los Angeles (I was a glam rocker in the 80’s) from New York (I love punk) from Manchester (I lived through the 90’s) and from Seattle (Grunge was my big one Baby). But if you divide things up by city of origin there’s a fair bit from the Twin Cities (I’m a huge Hold Steady and Prince fan so…) and strangely loads from Glasgow (Umm, I don’t know) but topically, oodles from Boston.

What I know about Boston I know from the movies. I know the accent, I know they hate the British (I get it) and I know Good Will Hunting, The Departed and The Town. I know Ted and The Boondock Saints and The Thomas Crown Affair and I know Black Mass. I know coming from Southie is about as gangster as it gets and I know the University is hot stuff.

All this has me confident that when you look at my record collection, I’m sure even Ben and Casey Affleck would declare “Ya stacks wicked pissa!”

I have everything by Aerosmith. I’m obsessed with Throwing Muses and Kristin Hersh. I have spent 20 years collecting records by Pixies and I have a fair show of stuff by Boston the band (How big do your balls gotta be to call your band Boston when you’re from Boston?). I’ve got 2 albums by The Cars and I’ve seen Extreme four times (Look I’m not proud of that but it happened).

I’m a Cockney’s Son who grew up on the Thames Estuary, this is out of hand.

That’s all before we get to the Dropkick Murphy’s. One of my holy grail punk bands. I saw them play the garage in Highbury London in the 90’s the very first time they came to the UK and I have loved them ever since. Every line up change, every new chance to go, I’m there. The Dropkick Murphy’s are one of my punkiest punk bands. Family and friends one and all.

Imagine my surprise, my delight, my frikkin’ rapture when I heard Peg O’ My Heart by my Dropkick Murphy’s had a verse by that other area code of ubquity. The King of New Jersey and of Blue Collar rock and roll itself Bruce Springsteen featured on Peg O’ My Heart. Do you believe it? So I don’t.

Bruce is a legitimate global superstar. He’s got people hanging on his every word from Rio to Chennai to Dusseldorf and as this final 30 tracks progresses you’ll hear how much his music has meant to me over the years.

Peg O’ My Heart is all heart. It’s a rollicking cartwheel of a song. It rolls down hill towards the waterfront drinking holes like the finest good time party anthem of ohhh shall we say a little over 200 years?

Now, I didn’t know this was an old folk tune (I coulda’ guessed though) I didn’t know it was a song the Murphy’s dedicated to their grandmothers or that Bruce knew it from the 1947 recording by the Harmonicats. I didn’t know Pat Boone had recorded it or that my Dad knew all the words (His birthday is St Patrick’s Day so he says he’s honorary Irish)…

However, I did know my wife’s beloved Pony was called Peg and when that cuddly ponino died my girl wept the biggest tears I had ever seen. These days the home movie I edited on the MacBook of Peg frolicking in the fields to this song is trotted out to turn a frown upside down with enough regularity that even Mrs ForTheDeaf is starting to accept my love of Boston Punk.

They feel her down in The Hub even though she never left Hertfordshire.

“I always knew it’d be you Peg O’ my heart”


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