Music Monday – “An old man said to me, won’t see another one/And then he sang a song, The rare old mountain dew/I turned my face away/And dreamed about you”

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about getting older, life, and mortality the past year in a variety of ways – from unexpected illness (Gord Downie) and death (Prince, David Bowie) of relatively young celebrities to the death of my Aunt Verna who is my first aunt or uncle to die out of my dad’s family of 10 siblings.

And at Christmas time, I always think of Shane McGowan, who, like Keith Richards, is one of those people who make you wonder how they’re still alive?  I mean, probably the first time I saw him was on SNL back in 1990 and he was apparently close to death even then!

But after going through various drug and alcohol addictions as a skinny young punkster…

…he’s managed to stay alive to become a puffy old punkster whose even managed to participate in a 30th anniversary reunion tour with The Pogues a few years back.

Of course, no matter how he’s lived or what he’s done, no one will ever take away the fact that Shane McGowan wrote the song that is known in England as the most popular Christmas song of the 21st century which, to bring it back to my original point, gains much of its power from capturing a story of love, aging, dreams and disappointment – all against the backdrop of a couple arguing on Christmas Eve.


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