Red Roses for Me

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This article is about the Pogues album. For the play, see Red Roses for Me (play).
Red Roses for Me
Studio album by The Pogues
Released October 1984
Genre Punk rock, Celtic rock
Length 40:12
Label WEA International
Producer Stan Brennan
The Pogues chronology
Red Roses for Me
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash

Red Roses for Me was the first full length album by the London-based band The Pogues and was released in 1984. It is filled with traditional Irish music performed with punk influences. Traditional songs and ballads mixed with Shane MacGowan's "gutter hymns" about drinking, fighting and sex was innovative at the time. Or as lead singer MacGowan explained the music: "I couldn't believe that nobody else were doing it, so we went on doing it ourselves..." The title "Red Roses for Me" is the name of a play by Sean O'Casey, though his works do not show any direct influence upon the band. O'Casey's song of the same name has been recorded by The Dubliners. The album reached number 89 in the UK album charts.

The front of the album shows the band with the exception of drummer of Andrew Rankin (pictured in inset) sitting in front of a picture of United States president John F. Kennedy. The back features Shane MacGowan pictured with his foot in a cast. Accordion player James Fearnley has a bottle sticking out of his coat, while bass player Cait O'Riordan is seen holding a can of beer.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]

Mark Deming of Allmusic gave Red Roses for Me three and a half out of five stars, calling it "good and rowdy fun", but felt that "on Rum Sodomy & the Lash and If I Should Fall from Grace with God, the Pogues would prove that they were capable of a lot more than that".[1] Robert Christgau gave the album a B+ and proclaimed "tepid it ain't".[2]

Track listing[edit]

The original UK LP has the following track listing

  1. "Transmetropolitan" (Shane MacGowan) - 4:15
  2. "The Battle of Brisbane" (MacGowan) - 1:49
  3. "The Auld Triangle" (Brendan Behan) - 4:20
  4. "Waxie's Dargle" (Traditional) - 1:53
  5. "Boys from the County Hell" (MacGowan) - 2:56
  6. "Sea Shanty" (MacGowan) - 2:24
  7. "Dark Streets of London" (MacGowan) - 3:33
  8. "Streams of Whiskey" (MacGowan) - 2:32
  9. "Poor Paddy" (Traditional) - 3:09
  10. "Dingle Regatta" (Traditional) - 2:52
  11. "Greenland Whale Fisheries" (Traditional) - 2:36
  12. "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" (MacGowan) - 3:30
  13. "Kitty" (Traditional) - 4:23

Bonus tracks[edit]

The first CD issue of the album had a total of 14 tracks, adding "Whiskey You're the Devil" as track 8. In 2004 a remastered CD was issued adding a total of 6 bonus tracks to the original UK album listing. "Repeal of the Licensing Laws" was the B-side of "The Boys From The County Hell" their second single. "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" was the B-side of their first single, "Dark Streets Of London". "Whiskey You're The Devil" and "Mursheen Durkin" were the B-sides of their third single, "A Pair Of Brown Eyes". "The Wild Rover" was the B-side of their fourth single, "Sally Maclennane".

  1. "The Leaving of Liverpool" (Traditional)
  2. "Muirshin Durkin" (Traditional)
  3. "Repeal of the Licensing Laws" (instrumental) (Stacy)
  4. "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (Eric Bogle)
  5. "Whiskey You're The Devil" (Traditional)
  6. "The Wild Rover" (Traditional)



  1. ^ a b Mark Deming. "Red Roses for Me - The Pogues | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  2. ^ a b "CG: the pogues". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  3. ^ "The Medusa Fora • View topic - The Star of the County Down?". Retrieved 2014-05-20.