Rubberbandits & Shane for Xmas

I’m only posting this here because I’m surprised no-one has got in before me to do so.

First off: Limerick’s  Rubberbandits with Horse Outside;

Then Willie O’Dea going in to bat for them heroically on Joe Duffy’s show: “Someone needs to give that man a dictionary to look up ‘irony'”

And, lastly, a near-perfect Christmas artifact; Shane MacGowan & the Priests with The Little Drummer Boy:

The thing that is sometimes overlooked about Shane is the terrific timbre of his voice. A lot of producers have cashed in on his dissipated veneer, but when he puts his mind to it, he’s a unique vocalist. From what I can gather, he’s a good deal more religious that you’d imagine – maybe he’s on his best behaviour in this company?

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  • Rory Carr


    You’re “…posting this here because I’m surprised no-one has got in before me to do so” and I am surprised that no posts have so far been added to your post. What the hell has happened to all the young blood?

    I was first alerted to Horse Outside on Twenty Major’s blog and I was absolutely bowled over and have been e-mailing to all and sundry ever since. I sure hope that it gets to be Christmas No. 1 – and I am well advanced into my seventh decade!

    Blind Boy surely could hold his own in defending his work and his quiet but firm response to Duffy’s gratituous insult at his accent was a broadcasting moment to be treasured.

    “Yes,” agrees Blind Boy with his detractor, “it is a joke.” And a damned good one at that.

    His references to Edward Norton in American History X and Father Ted were well marshalled and raising Andy Warhol in defence of his pecuniary interest was a neat stroke.

    I am still scratching my head over Shane and The Three Priests version of A Little Drummer Boy and I’m inclined to stick with Bing Crosby thus far – though nothing, but absolutely nothing will ever displace A Fairytale of New York in my Yuletide heart.

  • John Ó Néill

    Rory – I would have commented except that I simultaneously posted up a quiz to which Paul had inadvertently supplied an answer.

    Horse Outside is as clever a piece of satire as I’ve seen here in a long time, I’m surprised RTE ran with it. I’ve heard them interviewed a couple of times – one interviewer suggested it wasn’t a seasonal song and as deadpan as you like got the reply – “Isn’t it? Do you not eat horse at Christmas too?”

  • Rory Carr

    Christmas No. 1’s “seasonal” – my arse!

    Here’s a list of UK Christmas chart-toppers for example (followed by No. of weeks in chart as in 5; 7 etc.):

    ↓ Weeks at
    1952 Al Martino “Here in My Heart” 9
    1953 Frankie Laine “Answer Me” 8
    1954 Atwell, Winifred “Let’s Have Another Party” 5
    1955 Valentine, Dickie “Christmas Alphabet” 3
    1956 Ray, Johnnie “Just Walkin’ in the Rain” 7
    1957 Belafonte, Harry “Mary’s Boy Child” 7
    1958Twitty, Conway “It’s Only Make Believe” 5
    1959 Emile Ford & The Checkmates “What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?” 6
    1960 Cliff Richard & The Shadows “I Love You” 2
    1961 Danny Williams “Moon River” 2
    1962 Elvis Presley “Return to Sender” 3
    1963 The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” 5
    1964 The Beatles “I Feel Fine” 5
    1965 The Beatles “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out” 5
    1966 Tom Jones “Green, Green Grass of Home” 7
    1967 The Beatles “Hello, Goodbye” 7
    1968 The Scaffold “Lily the Pink” 3
    1969 Rolf Harris “Two Little Boys” 6
    1970 Dave Edmunds “I Hear You Knocking” 6
    1971 Benny Hill “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)” 4
    1972 Jimmy Osmond “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” 5
    1973 Slade “Merry Xmas Everybody” 5
    1974 Mud “Lonely This Christmas” 4
    1975 Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” 9
    1976 Johnny Mathis “When A Child Is Born (Soleado)” 3
    1977 Wings “Mull of Kintyre” 9
    1978 Boney M “Mary’s Boy Child” / “Oh My Lord” 4
    1979 Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” 5
    1980 St Winifred’s School Choir “There’s No-one Quite Like Grandma” 2
    1981 Human League, TheThe Human League “Don’t You Want Me” 5
    1982 Renée and Renato “Save Your Love” 4
    1983 Flying Pickets, TheThe Flying Pickets “Only You” 5
    1984 Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” 5
    1985 ‘Shakin’ Stevens “Merry Christmas Everyone” 2
    1986 Jackie Wilson “Reet Petite” 4
    1987 Pet Shop Boys “Always on My Mind” 4
    1988 Cliff Richard “Mistletoe and Wine” 4
    1989 Band Aid II “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” 3
    1990 Cliff Richard “Saviour’s Day” 1
    1991 Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” / “These Are the Days of Our Lives” 5
    1992 Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” 10
    1993 Mr Blobby “Mr Blobby” 2
    1994 East 17 “Stay Another Day” 5
    1995 Michael Jackson “Earth Song” 6
    1996 Spice Girls “2 Become 1” 3
    1997 Spice Girls “Too Much” 2
    1998 Spice Girls “Goodbye” 1
    1999 Westlife “I Have A Dream” / “Seasons in the Sun” 4
    2000 Bob The Builder “Can We Fix It?” 3
    2001 Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman “Somethin’ Stupid” 3
    2002 Girls Aloud “Sound of the Underground” 4
    2003 Michael Andrews & Gary Jules “Mad World” 3
    2004 Band Aid 20 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” 4
    2005 Shayne Ward “That’s My Goal” 4
    2006 Leona Lewis “Moment Like This !A Moment Like This” 4
    2007 Leon Jackson “When You Believe” 3
    2008 Alexandra Burke “Hallelujah” 3
    2009 Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name” 1
    2010 Matt Cardle “When We Collide” 1[10]

    Out of which exactly eleven in fifty-seven years have any sort of Christmas theme (and that includes the exercable Mistletoe and Wine by Sir “Cliff Richard”).

    and here (I hope) is a list of Ireland’s past Christmas No. 1’s (latest first).:

    Matt Cardle – When We Collide
    Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
    Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
    Leon Jackson – When You Believe
    Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This
    Shayne Ward – That’s My Goal
    Band Aid 20 – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    Girls Aloud – Sound Of The Underground
    Westlife – I Have A Dream
    Spice Girls – Goodbye
    Spice Girls – Too Much
    Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
    Michael Jackson – Earth Song
    East 17 – Stay Another Day
    Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
    Cliff Richard – Saviour’s Day
    Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine
    Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind (2003 Dig…
    Whitney Houston – Saving All My Love For You
    Band Aid – Do They Know Its Christmas
    Queen + Paul Rodgers – Bohemian Rhapsody

    of which four out of the seventeen listed have a “seasonal” theme including two by Peter-fuckin’-Pan and (Holy-Mother-of-God !) three from the Spice Girls.

    Unless Horse Outside is taken up by Ireland’s discerning record-buying (or downloading) public we are doomed ! Doomed I tell ye !

  • Rory Carr

    Correction: That “and two Peter-fuckin’-Pan and (Holy-Mother-of-God !) three from the Spice Girls” seems to imply that they all had a “seasonal theme” . The Spice Girls’ entries obviously did ot (unless we consider ‘spice’, being seasoning as also seasonal.

  • John,

    Sorry for the inadvertent answer (can’t find the question tho – did you go back in and replace it?)

    I’m surprised no-one else slapped that berk on that second (Joe Duffy) clip moaning about how the Rubberbandits are giving Limerick a bad name by reeling off a list of Irish performers who have sold Ireland’s charm to the world packed with their own dissolute behaviour – Behan, The Dubliners, The Pogues (obvious qualifications apply), Flann O’Brien … Dave Allen (er… help! You know the point I’m making).

  • RepublicanStones

    Horse outside is good, but Bag of Glue beats it….lyrically speaking.

    Tune starts at about 1:22

  • Rory Carr

    Sorry, RS, must disagree, Bag of Glue lacks the delicacy, the subtlety, the finesse…dare I say…the horsiness of this great modern classic.

    A Bag of Glue fan is the kind of fella that you might see riding around in a Honda Civic (with a box of Toblerone in the boot nicked outa Tesco.)

  • John Ó Néill

    Paul – maybe it was a bit oblique as it was this one:
    6. Where is my superior alternative to a Mitsubishi, Subaru and Honda?