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The Dropkick Murphys are a well known Celtic Punk band from Quincy, Massachusetts. They have released six studio albums since their founding, gaining a fair amount of popularity for their song "Shipping Up To Boston", which was featured in the 2006 film The Departed - as well as many other sources. This is interesting, as the lyrics were originally by Woody Guthrie, he just never finished it before he died (it wasn't the first time the band had covered an unrecorded Guthrie song, either. They covered his "Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight" on their 2003 album Blackout)
Considered to be the semi-official band of baseball's Boston Red Sox, the band's 2004 song "Tessie" (which is not a cover of the turn-of-the-century Red Sox fight song of the same name as often claimed, but a newly written song about those same turn-of-the-century fans, with the original fight song making up most of the chorus) is often played on Boston radio before Red Sox games as "good luck", especially during the team's 2004 season in which they won their first World Series in 86 years. The band has performed during the team's "Rolling Rally" parade through Boston both times it has won the World Series in recent times (2004 and 2007) and many current Red Sox players consider themselves fans of the band.
Naturally, as a Celtic Punk group, a fair amount of their music/political causes center around the working class and pay homage to their ancestry. As such, they have covered several Irish folk songs - particularly on the album "The Meanest of Times".
Their discography consists of:
- Do or Die (1998)
- The Gang's All Here (1999)
- Sing Loud, Sing Proud! (2001)
- Blackout (2003)
- The Warrior's Code (2005)
- The Meanest of Times (2007)
- Going Out In Style (2011)
Dropkick Murphys provide examples of:
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Named after a rehab center near where the first members grew up.
- Amazing Freaking Grace: A fairly up-beat instrumental version.
- Anti-Love Song: "Dirty Glass", a vicious argument between a drunk and his local pub.
- Awesome McCoolname: Spicy McHaggis
- Bawdy Song: Why yes! "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced" is their best-known.
- Big Beautiful Woman: "The Spicy McHaggis Jig"
- Concept Album: Going Out In Style follows the life of one guy, as he posthumously narrates his life. The title track is his funeral.
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: Their version of Pete St.John's "The Fields of Anthenry", which changes a melancholy lament into a ferocious rebel anthem.
- Did Not Do the Research: Massachusetts is actually a Commonwealth, not a state, and you're never supposed to refer to "The State of Massachusetts". It's most likely that the Murphys know this and "Commonwealth" just wouldn't fit the rhyme scheme, or that they specifically used an inaccurate term to make a point.
- Drunken Song: About half of them.
- Everything's Louder with Bagpipes
- Fighting Irish: Several songs have this theme, including "Take 'Em Down" "Going Out In Style" and "Cruel".
- Football Fight Song: A cover of "For Boston", the traditional fight song of Boston College, and "Time To Go", written for their local hockey team, the Boston Bruins. They also have done a cover of the Notre Dame Victory March entitled "Victory."
- Some people treat "Tessie" the same way.
- "Shipping Up To Boston" is also used this way at Red Sox games. It does an excellent job of riling up the crowd.
- The Fun in Funeral: "Going Out In Style" is sung from the perspective of a guy who wants his funeral to be this.
- Heavy Mithril: Although still played in their characteristic celtic punk style, the song "The Legend of Finn Maccumhail" is based on Irish mythology.
- In the Style Of: With traditional music.
- Isn't It Ironic?
- I Will Fight Some More Forever: "Barroom Hero"
- Lyrical Dissonance: Quite a few of their songs pair upbeat melodies with less-than-obvious lyrics:
- "Sunshine Highway", a song about substance addiction
- "The State of Massachusetts", a song about kids being taken out of an abusive household and being put into foster care.
- "Buried Alive", about miners trapped in a cave-in
- "The Auld Triangle", about a prisoner longing for the pleasures of the outside world
- "Barroom Hero" about a violence-prone barfly
- "This is Your Life" is about a man who is a "two-bit, half-assed effigy of someone else's dread." And is one of the happiest songs they've written.
- "Curse of a Fallen Song", about a dead friend
- The aforementioned "Dirty Glass"
- "God Willing", sung from the POV of a soldier saying a lot of painful goodbyes.
- "The Gauntlet," a song about soldiers mustering up courage for another charge.
- Averted by "Going Out in Style" where the POV character's singing of his own funeral plans - and doesn't care what's done to his body as long as it's the occasion for a massive, loud, traditional Irish wake.
- Man in a Kilt: See the page image.
- Mind Screw: "State of Massachusetts" after you read into a few details.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The band plays Irish-influenced Celtic punk, and they had some Oi! in the earlier days.
- Protest Song: Several of their songs have a political message, often related to their shared Irish-American background, and especially to unions and worker's rights.
- The song "Take 'Em Down" (from their most recent album, Going Out In Style) was dedicated to the striking public employees in Wisconsin.
- Punk Rock: Obviously.
- Real Men Wear Pink: This is effectively the entire point of the Wicked Sensitive Crew.
Well if you guys are hard then I'd rather be soft
Man I gotta find me some seriously sensitive dudes!
- Rewritten Pop Version
- Scotireland: Largely averted; any Irish-American celtic punk band really has to know the difference. Although Spicy Mc Haggis is inspired by a menu item from a Scottish McDonald's.
- In addition, lead singer Al Barr is actually Scottish-American. It's not really noticeable, though.
- Single-Stanza Song: "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
- Subdued Section: "God Willing", "Boys on the Docks", many others...
- Subverted Trope: "The Wicked Sensitive Crew" starts out by declaring that the idea that being tough means being stoic and emotionless has lost what little value it ever had through thoughtless imitation. You gotta shake hands with your feelings, in the Wicked Sensitive Crew.
- Surrogate Soliloquy: "The Green Fields of France" which is sung to a dead soldier while sitting by his grave.
- The American Civil War: Referenced in their version of the traditional Irish-American song "The Fighting 69th", which is about the 69th Infantry Regiment of the American Civil war, which was primarily composed of Irish New Yorkers.
- Also the subject of "Broken Hymns."
- This Trope Is Bleep: One version of "Pipebomb On Lansdowne" does this pretty badly.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Some of the bands earlier Oi!-influenced work fits this trope. Their later output is a bit more complex, especially when they begin to combine the folk and punk elements more organically.
- ↑ despite this, it's sometimes called "The Bay State" and the capital is still referred to as "The State House" but it's more a case of no one really caring