Tag Archives: The Pogues Rum Sodomy & the Lash

Life Not Only Goes On, It Gets Better!!

Well, if you saw last evening’s post, you’ll know by now that we had intense thunderstorms around here, and even a tornado near by.  But it blew out all the high heat and humidity that was keeping me from being able to breathe all day yesterday.

PLUS!! My new dust buster arrived yesterday afternoon!! I mentioned it in a previous post this week. I got one of those high-powered ones, to hopefully make it easier to deal with all the cat hair around here (and cat litter that flies everywhere, too).

And it works like a charm!! I love this fucking thing. It keeps its battery power for a long time, and it truly is high-powered. It was kind of astounding to see how much filth it was picking up from deep in the carpeting.

If you’re sort of a cleaning-freak, like I am, you can no doubt relate to how cool I found that high-powered suction thing, and it made me just want to clean and clean and clean!!

So I did!!!

And it doesn’t disturb the cats nearly as much as the vacuum cleaner does, so I hope I won’t have to bring that out as often anymore. We’ll see!

So the combination of an awesome breeze blowing throughout the house at dawn this morning, and coming downstairs to a thoroughly clean house and cool temperatures… there’s just NO WAY this isn’t going to be a great day.


Well, the other day, I bought an online course about the theology of Martin Luther and the complicated launch of the Protestant Reformation, beginning in 1517 A.D.  I’ve been listening to it a little bit every night before I  go to sleep.

I studied the Reformation in Divinity School, of course. And I’ve also done a ton of studying on my own about the various sects that also sprang from that era. Plus, my ancestors were not only alive in Germany at that time, but they were living in that region of Germany that was directly affected by Martin Luther’s tumultuous change of the Church.  And they were definitely practicing Protestants, there are surviving records to prove it, so I find it really interesting to think about them and what it was like to live through those times of enormous change. (It wasn’t “just” the Church that changed because of Martin Luther; it was the scope of the Western mind.)

Anyway. The course is fascinating. And no disrespect intended, but, man, Martin Luther was really kind of nuts!!

I’m (sort of) just kidding, gang. But before he settled on his theology of the Gospel, his teachings went to some seriously dark and masochistic and  impossible places.

When I was 13, there was a cinematic version of the play, Luther (written by John Osborne), that I saw in the movie theater, so I was at least aware that Martin Luther was extreme.  But now that I’m way, way, WAY older, and a minister and all that, I understand now just how extreme that man was. Wow.

I find that kind of stuff so interesting, gang. I really do. Even though it’s safe to say that I  don’t adhere to any of those Lutheran ideas or beliefs,  I’m still fascinated by the religious arc of the Western mind over the centuries. I just never get tired of learning about all of that.

So, as it so often turns out, the medicine they had prescribed my dad when he got sick last week, only ended up making him sicker. So the doctor told him to stop taking the medicine yesterday, and he’s at the doctor’s office right now, this morning. So, here’s hoping he’s going to finally be back to normal here soon.

He’s the kind of person who will only listen to a doctor, you know? We both knew the medicine itself was making him really sick, and I really wanted to tell him to stop taking it, but I knew he would just ignore me because I’m not a doctor! So I was relieved when he finally called the doctor and the doctor told him to stop taking it!

I find it so amazing, honestly, how some people treat doctors as if they’re actual gods and as if medicine, simply because it’s prescribed by a doctor, holds some special inalienable power. Meaning, that their brains are just so locked into that kind of reverent thinking, they can’t even bring themselves to question it.

I’m just so not like that and never have been. I guess because I have to question and ponder everything. (Which, of course, can get really annoying to the people around me.) But if I’m going to be forced to consider another human being to be “God,” I’d rather just give in and call Nick Cave “God,” as so many Europeans are wont to do!!

(I am, yet again, sort of just kidding…)

Another cool thing that happened — now that I currently have no main barn door on my barn, that storm last evening blew through the barn and blew open one of the side doors of the barn, and also the shuttered window on the other side of it. There’s no glass in the window — just wooden, hand-made, 110-year-old shutters!

I can see that side of the barn from my kitchen window. And this morning, when I went out there to the barn to close the shutters, I saw that there are some old eye-hook type things at either side of the shutters, so I can keep them open if I want to.

And do you know what that means??!!

Yes!! It means I can get yet another window box, plant flowers in it, put it in that barn window all summer long and see the flowers from my kitchen window!!

I’m so excited. (I’ll also be able to see Kevin’s vintage 1965 VW camper van through the open barn window all summer long, not quite as exciting, but still…)

The one draw back is that it’s a long trek from the kitchen, where I’d have to get the water every day to water the flowers.  I’m not sure how excited I’ll be about doing that, every single day, all summer long. I already have to make 7 trips a day, in and out of the kitchen, to water all the flowers on both of my porches…

Anyway. We’ll see. I just felt really excited when I realized it today.

I read on Deadline Hollywood yesterday that Johnny Depp’s documentary of Shane MacGowan, Crock of Gold, has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures in North America. Which means we’ll probably get to actually see it!!

I love Shane MacGowan. And I loved The Pogues, back when he was the driving force of the band. And it’s one of those things where I am continually astounded to discover that most Americans (especially if you’re not Irish-American) have never heard of Shane MaGowan or The Pogues. In NYC, especially back in the 1980s — back then, at least, NYC was an intensely Irish town — The Pogues were really popular.

I had all of their albums and EPs, up until Shane MaGowan essentially drank his way out of the band. At this point, though, after decades of having to jettison more albums with every move I’ve had to make, I’ve only kept Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash and If I Should Fall From Grace With God. But they are two incredible albums, gang. I’m so excited to see that documentary.

Okay. I’m going to get started here now. I hope that Thursday is just as beautiful where you are today, gang!! Thanks for visiting. I’ll leave you once again with two listening options today:

The song that, when Nick Cave sang it solo on his In Conversations tour,  caused people all over the world to call Nick Cave “God.” The song is, in fact, titled “God is in the House,” from the truly timeless and amazing Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album, No More Shall We Part (2001).

And then one of my favorite Shane MacGowan songs, which couldn’t be more different than the Nick Cave song: “Sally MacLennane,” from The Pogues album, Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash (1985). Compare and contrast!! Listen and enjoy, gang!! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“God Is In The House”

We’ve laid the cables and the wires
We’ve split the wood and stoked
the fires
We’ve lit our town so there is no
Place for crime to hide
Our little church is painted white
And in the safety of the night
We all go quiet as a mouse
For the word is out
God is in the house
God is in the house
God is in the house
No cause for worry now
God is in the house

Moral sneaks in the White House
Computer geeks in the school house
Drug freaks in the crack house
We don’t have that stuff here
We have a tiny little Force
But we need them of course
For the kittens in the trees
And at night we are on our knees
As quiet as a mouse
For God is in the house
God is in the house
God is in the house
And no one’s left in doubt
God is in the house

Homos roaming the streets in packs
Queer bashers with tyre-jacks
Lesbian counter-attacks
That stuff is for the big cities
Our town is very pretty
We have a pretty little square
We have a woman for a mayor
Our policy is firm but fair
Now that God is in the house
God is in the house
God is in the house
Any day now He’ll come out
God is in the house

Well-meaning little therapists
Goose-stepping twelve-stepping Tea-totalitarianists
The tipsy, the reeling and the drop down pissed
We got no time for that stuff here
Zero crime and no fear
We’ve bred all our kittens white
So you can see them in the night
And at night we’re on our knees
As quiet as a mouse
Since the word got out
From the North down to the South
For no-one’s left in doubt
There’s no fear about
If we all hold hands and very quietly shout
God is in the house
God is in the house
Oh I wish He would come out
God is in the house

© – 2001 Nick Cave

“Sally MacLennane”

Well Jimmy played harmonica in the pub where I was born
He played it from the night time to the peaceful early morn
He soothed the souls of psychos and the men who had the horn
And they all looked very happy in the morning

Now Jimmy didn’t like his place in this world of ours
Where the elephant man broke strong men’s necks
When he’d had too many Powers
So sad to see the grieving of the people that he’s leaving
And he took the road for God knows in the morning

We walked him to the station in the rain
We kissed him as we put him on the train
And we sang him a song of times long gone
Though we knew that we’d be seeing him again
(Far away) sad to say I must be on my way
So buy me beer and whiskey ’cause I’m going far away (far away)
I’d like to think of me returning when I can
To the greatest little boozer and to Sally MacLennane

The years passed by the times had changed I grew to be a man
I learned to love the virtues of sweet Sally MacLennane
I took the jeers and drank the beers and crawled back home at dawn
And ended up a barman in the morning

I played the pump and took the hump and watered whiskey down
I talked of whores and horses to the men who drank the brown
I heard them say that Jimmy’s making money far away
And some people left for heaven without warning

We walked him to the station in the rain
We kissed him as we put him on the train
And we sang him a song of times long gone
Though we knew that we’d be seeing him again
(Far away) sad to say I must be on my way
So buy me beer and whiskey ’cause I’m going far away (far away)
I’d like to think of me returning when I can
To the greatest little boozer and to Sally MacLennane

When Jimmy came back home he was surprised that they were gone
He asked me all the details of the train that they went on
Some people they are scared to croak but Jimmy drank until he choked
And he took the road for heaven in the morning

We walked him to the station in the rain
We kissed him as we put him on the train
And we sang him a song of times long gone
Though we knew that we’d be seeing him again
(Far away) sad to say I must be on my way
So buy me beer and whiskey ’cause I’m going far away (far away)
I’d like to think of me returning when I can
To the greatest little boozer and to Sally MacLennane

©  – 1985 Shane MacGowan

Yes! 3 of My Favorite Things!!

Yes, indeedy! 3 of my favorite things!

I am of course, talking about:

  • Rum
  • Sodomy
  • the Lash

And not necessarily in that order. In fact, if 1 or 2 of those things is going on, I don’t need rum at all!

I am, of course, just kidding – I don’t need the lash, either. (We’re certainly hoping, however, that the sparkle and allure of that 3rd thing goes on forever!)

Yes. Indeedy…

Seriously. I am, of course, actually referring to that incredible Pogues album from 1985, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash.

(And YES!!!!! Most non-NYC-area, non Irish-Americans do not know who the Pogues were, who Shane MacGowan is, nor have they ever heard of that incredible album!!! America beyond the boundaries of NYC can be such a strange place.)


Even though it isn’t my favorite song on the album (mostly because Shane MacGowan didn’t write it), the Pogues still did an incredible version of “Dirty Old Town” that, for some inexplicable reason, I suddenly needed to listen to about 75 times yesterday – really loudly, while going really fast in the car.

I had a really weird day. I didn’t teach piano yesterday because the guy went on vacation.  The day was just sort of mine, but I was extremely tired. Just exhausted from stuff that was on my mind and I was trying really hard not to let it get me down, you know?

It was a very humid day. Extremely overcast all day, but not too hot. Just sort of oppressively grey.

Yet Muskingum County looks incredible in all sorts of weather. Even with an oppressively grey sky, the pastures, dotted with cows, still look intensely green. And the thousands of green trees everywhere. The green hillsides surrounding everything for as far as the eye can see. There are ponds here and there, dotted with ducks and cranes and sometimes even with swans! And now the crops are coming in everywhere – corn, mostly – so all the fields in the valleys are green now, too.

Just getting out on that highway, up hills, down hills, twisty-turny, and then sometimes just really, really straight so that you can see clear to Coshocton County, too; just getting out on that highway becomes entrancing to me.  And there’s nothing here that you can really call “traffic.” You really can just soar.

My heart was going through some shit yesterday. Even though my life couldn’t be better – actually, I’m happier right now than I’ve ever been. And if I can resist the temptation to wish that everything in my past had gone differently, I can’t complain about anything whatsoever.

Even so, I still have those yearnings, those desires that keep me wanting to evolve into something more, you know? Yesterday was one of those days. I was longing for evolution.

Even though I couldn’t be farther from living in a “dirty old town,” the song, the specific way the Pogues do it, was just really helping me feel shit. Just feel it and then get sort of entranced by everything I felt, and then, finally move past it. And I wound up having a really wonderful evening. Everything inside me eventually shifted.

Plus, for a few hours in the evening, the weather also shifted. It became sunny.

I sat at my kitchen table and watched the first episode of season 6 of Endeavor. It was really good. So fucking good. Those British guys can just act the heck out of themselves, you know? So fun to watch all that intensity. And the writing is just really, really good. There were only 2 lines of dialogue, right at the very end, that sort of jumped out as strictly “exposition,” but otherwise, the writing is incredible. So well-paced. It does everything it’s supposed to do; you hate this one, you’re disappointed in that one; you wonder wow, what’s up with her? and you know you’re going to find out before the season’s over. That kind of stuff, woven so nicely into the plot and you’re always, always, always rooting for Endeavor. Needing him to come out on top. Just great writing.

There are 3 more episodes left. I will probably watch them all this week. And then, I guess, wait another year before I watch TV again. (I find this kind of insane – that I don’t watch any TV anymore and I hadn’t even realized it had been a year. But, honestly, I just don’t have time or room in my brain these days to commit to television.)

Even though I was still really tired by evening, I was in the best mood.  I just laid on my bed and listened to all the quiet outside my windows. Birds singing, an occasional car. That was it. The sun stayed out until past 9:30. It was so cool to just lie there and not do a single darn thing except be alive.

I’ve decided that I really love that new Springsteen song, “Hello Sunshine.” It really, really suits where my life is at these days. “Sunshine” of course, for me, being the return of the muse.

There are a handful of songs on the new album that I like, but “Hello Sunshine” is my favorite. So I streamed that a million times, while the sun went down and it started to rain.

And I was thinking about how albums like The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, or Darkness on the Edge of Town, and Born in the USA just blew me away and solidify certain eras of my life for me. From a long time ago, obviously. I liked Born to Run, too, but it was released while I was still in the mental hospital so it has some shaky memories for me.

In fact, when I was released from the mental hospital, a boy I had become friendly with in there, who had been released before I had, came over to see me to give me that album as a gift. He said, “You’re really gonna love this album, Marilyn.”

And he was right, I did. And it was such an unexpected and wonderful gift. But it still was a shaky time for me. I don’t think I found my footing, post-mental hospital, until I was about 25. (10 years later.)

Last night, though, as I was listening to “Hello Sunshine” and thinking how it’s been a long time since an entire Springsteen album could blow me away; I suddenly remembered that boy who’d given me Born to Run. We became really good friends for a couple of years, until we graduated high school, went off to our respective colleges and never saw each other again. (I stayed in college for about 14 seconds before dashing off to find my life instead.)

Anyway, last evening, I suddenly remembered how, when we were about 17, that boy was really, really frustrated with still being a virgin and he thought that if he weren’t a virgin, he could get more dates with girls. I’m not entirely sure what the thinking behind that was, but it is what he believed. And, of course, me being me – exceptionally cavalier about the state of virginity – I said, “Oh I can take care of that for you, if you want.”

He was absolutely stupefied. I mean, we had never even kissed or anything. We were just friends.  But I was serious. To me, it was an absolute no-brainer. It would only take a few minutes, really. Technically.  I wasn’t saying, “let’s have a date, ” or “let’s make love.” I was only talking about doing that one specific thing. So we did it! We went off to my room. Did it.  And he was really happy. And then we went out and rode our bikes.

Too funny. However. What I also remembered last night, was that I did have a boyfriend at that time. A serious boyfriend, too. We were in love. He lived in West Virginia though, and I didn’t get to see him all the time. But we were definitely in love – wore rings and such.

When he found out what I’d done, he was so mad at me: “Why did you do that, Marilyn??!!”

And I was astounded that he got mad.  I had considered myself strictly as a problem-solver in that whole “lose the virginity” thing and could not understand why my boyfriend had gotten so mad at me.

Last night, it really made me laugh – remembering all that. It had been, literally, 40 years since I’d thought about any of that stuff. It’s amazing what I just presume people will put up with from me.

Anyhow.  While I was listening to “Hello Sunshine,” I was also remembering that song  “I’m On Fire” from Born in the USA and how much I used to just fucking love that song. I just loved it. And I had kind of forgotten all about it. So I’m gonna leave you with that one today.

But before, I do, I just wanna mention that people in Birmingham, England are apparently way more law-abiding than I would have guessed. There were not that many photos posted to Instagram from the Conversation Nick Cave had there last night. And at the very start of the evening, someone posted a photo to Instagram showing a sign at the front of theater, that stated how you weren’t allowed to record any of the Conversation, including with your phone.

I guess most people took that seriously, as odd as that seems in this day & age. There were a couple photos of the theater itself, before the show started. It looked like a really cool place.  But I can’t say a whole lot more than that, except that perhaps two people did post photos and said they really loved it. But that was all.

Okay. I’m in such a better space today, gang. So I’m going to make use of that and get some writing done here. I did absolutely none yesterday.  I’m thinking that I might even finish Blessed By Light this week.  So I’m off.

Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!

“I’m On Fire”
Hey, little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go away and leave you all alone?
I got a bad desire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire

Tell me now, baby, is he good to you?
And can he do to you the things that I do? Oh, no
I can take you higher
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull
And cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my skull
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire

c – 1985 Bruce Springsteen