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Pogues Dirty Old Town Lyrics

Last updated: 04/03/2014 04:39:11 AM

Dirty Old Town ( The Pogues )

( Intro vers ) ( D )

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I Kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Clouds are drifting across the moon
Cats are prowling on their beat
Spring's a girl from the streets at night
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

( Solo vers ) ( C )

I Heard a siren from the docks
Saw a train set the night on fire
I Smelled the spring on the smoky wind
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I'm gonna make me a big sharp axe
Shining steel tempered in the fire
I'll chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

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happy days | Reviewer: Fred | 4/3/14

the song written in 1949 was about Salford which lies next to Manchester in England. I was born in Manchester and went to college in Salford. It was filthy with the huge industrial docks servicing ships that came in on the Manchester Ship Canal. The ware houses are all condos now. The pubs were rough with sawdust on the floor, one on every corner. See L.S. Lowry paintings to get the gist of the place.
It was grey under sodden grey skies.
The first line was: "I met my love by the gaswork's croft." another line that got changed was "smelled the smoke on the Salford wind"

Heard a woman sing this in NYC | Reviewer: Barbara from Ithaca | 2/20/14

I first heard this in an off-off Broadway show called "Wait-a-Minum" in 1960-something. Performed stunningly by Dana Vallery (sister of Sergio Franchi; anyone remember him?) pretty much unaccompanied-except for the whistle! I'll never forget it.

@Constanza | Reviewer: Tim | 6/15/13

It's literally about destroying the town.

On a metaphorical level, the town is a stand-in for industrialization with all its unpleasantness (gas works, old canal, factory wall, smoky wind), where a whore - okay, a 'girl from the streets at night' - is the closest thing you (the narrator) get to spring.

So it's an old-fashioned Luddite dream, at least in my interpretation of it.

meaning? | Reviewer: Costanza | 6/8/13

I really loved this song in The Dubliners version, but i always wondered about the meaning on the verses "I'm gonna make me a big sharp axe ecc..." Is a reference to murder?A metaphore of leaving the city, cutting the ties to the place where you live?O.o Maybe it's an odd question and english isn't my mother language but usually i understand song's lyrics...Thanks to all that will be so kind to answer:)

This is not the same song I love to hear | Reviewer: Tessie Wayman | 7/22/12

The song I like, Dirty old Town begins and ends with whistling.
I can't find the original song i heard but it wasn't done WITH a whistle it was a man whistling...and I can't find that rendition....
These guys don't sing it the same. I don't like any of the other versions.

Dirty Old Shane | Reviewer: Patrick Black | 9/23/11

Shane and the boys nailed this one, though the song stands on its own. Notice how Ewan McColl doesn't bother with the cute (trite) rhymes and goes right for picture. I heard this guy in San Francisco name of Brandon (Brendan?) Ross (sorry about the sp) do the song where he sung the line, "I kissed my girl by her factory stall." He was from Boston. Anyone know anything about him?

As sung by another | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/19/11

I just heard this at the end of the final episode of Rescue Me and it reminded me that I swear this was the same song I heard U2's Larry Mullen belt out at one of many U2's shows I have seen!! What a great old tune!!

Time period.... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/18/11

When's a girl going to sing this song- times have changed- ehh! Song must have been written before WWII... before women partook in heavy industry in the UK. Anyone know the period it was written? 1930s maybe or earlier...

Sally and Dirty | Reviewer: Pat. B. Long | 3/17/11

Yeah I love dirty! But Sally has a big place in my heart. A song the pogues don't do That I enjoy is black and tan but didn't realize what it meant (well how offencive it could be. Being a 19 year old canadain at the time) But the beat and rhythm of it is a pretty good sounding song. If only I could do it and not wreck a good night of paddy's again.

Getting it right | Reviewer: robin jones | 6/27/09

The Pogues get it right. There's the brutal environment and the stink of the Gas Works and your man with his flat, edgy voice singing of the only escape he's got left.. Nothing comes close. Rod Stewert is pampered perfumed powder by comparison, and I'd smack Kelly in the god and steal his pint. Shawn McGowan just gets it. There's nothing else. Nothing but silence.

' Dirty Old Town ' | Reviewer: Gregor McKwar | 5/7/08

' Dirty Old Town ' was written by Ewan MacColl, the late Kirsty MacColl's father, in 1949. It is about the industrial city of Salford where he grew up. Salford in a north west of England city next to Manchester!

Mr. Moon's Version | Reviewer: John Sieger | 3/6/08

First trip to England last month. Met and jammed with Mr. Moon in Sheerness. His version was outrageous and funny! He changed one lyric... "I kissed my girl where the sun don't shine" One of the greatest songs ever written.

Dirty Old Town | Reviewer: Chris | 6/16/07

The best album for this is "Run Sodomy and the Lash" - Fantasic Album - Sally Maclennane is the best track though - great drinking song.

Others | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/19/07

The Mountain Goats also do a great a version of this song, you all should check it out!

Dirty Old Town | Reviewer: Amanda | 10/12/05

Dirty Old Town was written by Ewan MacColl in 1956. The song refers to Salford in Manchester. Made more famous really, I think by The Pogues whose version is stellar. A great song.