The Warrior's Code
|The Warrior's Code|
|Studio album by Dropkick Murphys|
|Released||June 21, 2005|
|Genre||Celtic punk, Irish folk|
|Producer||Ken Casey, David Bianco|
|Dropkick Murphys chronology|
|Singles from The Warrior's Code|
The Warrior's Code is the fifth studio album by the Irish-American Celtic punk band, the Dropkick Murphys. Released in June 2005, it is also their bestselling. It features a dedication to Lowell's own "Irish" Micky Ward who is featured on the album's cover and is the subject of the album's title track. It is also their final record with Hellcat Records before moving to their own vanity label, Born & Bred Records.
The album features one of the band's biggest and most well known singles, "I'm Shipping Up to Boston", which the band originally released on the "Fields of Athenry" single, although it re-recorded it for The Warrior's Code. The band released the song on their own as a single in 2006. However, it became a hit after being featured in the Oscar-winning movie The Departed and its soundtrack.
The band filmed music videos for "Sunshine Highway", "The Warrior's Code" and two videos for "I'm Shipping Up to Boston", the second was used for The Departed. A video for the track "Tessie" was also filmed in 2004 when the song was released as its own single.
"Your Spirit's Alive" was written for the band's dear friend Greg "Chickenman" Riley, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2004. "The Warrior's Code" is about boxing legend Micky Ward, who hails from Lowell, Massachusetts (the song would also be used in the film, The Fighter, a biopic about Ward's life and career). "Captain Kelly's Kitchen" is another of the band's traditional arrangements. "Sunshine Highway" was the first single from this album and has surfaced in many places including Royal Caribbean's Sports' Deck, even though the song is about drug rehab. The song also features one of the band's most polished arrangements. "The Green Fields of France" is a cover of the anti-war ballad by Eric Bogle. The lyrics to "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" come from unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics, consisting of a short rant by a sailor looking for a wooden leg in Boston. It is similar to "There's Gonna Be a Blackout" from their previous album, Blackout (also inspired by Guthrie). "Wicked Sensitive Crew" is a slap at the band's critics who claim that they glorify violence and come across as 'tough guys'. In the song, the band sings that they are not ashamed for crying when Mickey died "in Rocky II". However, Mickey actually died of a heart attack after a confrontation with Clubber Lang in Rocky III." The band actually address this in the sleeve notes, however, stating: "Mickey actually died in Rocky 3 but, hey, sue us, two rhymed better." "Last Letter Home" is the story of a correspondence between American Sgt. Andrew Farrar and his family before his death in the current Iraq War. With the family's permission, the band released the song as a single. All of the proceeds went to the family. The band also performed the song "Fields of Athenry" at his funeral (which was included as the B-Side on the single). "Tessie" is a reworking of a Boston Red Sox rally song. On this release, it is called a bonus track because it was already released on the Tessie EP in 2004 during the Red Sox season where they ended up winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years. A second bonus track titled "Hatebomb" can be found on the Japanese release.
The album received mostly positive reviews from critics. Allmusic gave the album a rating of 3.5 out of five stars, praising the "alternating lead vocals, a tag team of rage and bravado." PopMatters gave the album a mostly positive review and commented on the band's musical versatility: "They can do straightforward punk rock (“Your Spirit’s Alive”) or straightforward Irish folk (“The Green Fields of France”). They can mix it up, and write a punk rock song that sounds like an Irish standard, (the title track, which features a healthy mix of bagpipes and mandolin)." Punknews.org had similar praise for the album, stating: "This is a dynamic record that frequently changes gears between faster punk and hardcore tracks and more subtle renditions of traditional material. While they've not departed from their established style, it seems that the Murphys' songwriting is in perfect sync with their ambition."
All songs by Dropkick Murphys except where noted.
- "Your Spirit's Alive" – 2:21
- "The Warrior's Code" – 2:30
- "Captain Kelly's Kitchen" ("Courtin' in the Kitchen" traditional) – 2:48
- "The Walking Dead" – 2:07
- "Sunshine Highway" – 3:22
- "Wicked Sensitive Crew" – 2:59
- "The Burden" – 2:55
- "Citizen C.I.A." – 1:28
- "The Green Fields of France" (Eric Bogle cover) – 4:46
- "Take It and Run" – 2:44
- "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (Lyrics by Woody Guthrie) – 2:34
- "The Auld Triangle" (Brendan Behan cover) – 2:41
- "Last Letter Home" – 3:32
- "Tessie" (Bonus track) – 4:15
- "Hatebomb" (Japanese Bonus track) – 1:12
- "Sunshine Highway"
- "The Warrior's Code"
- "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
- "Tessie" (released in 2004) #89 US Modern Rock Charts
- Al Barr – vocals
- Ken Casey – bass, vocals
- Matt Kelly – drums, bodhrán, vocals
- James Lynch – guitar, vocals
- Marc Orrell – guitar, accordion, vocals
- James "Scruffy" Wallace – bagpipes
- Tim Brennan – mandolin, tin whistle, acoustic guitar
- Laura Casey – viola, cello
- Marco Urban – vocals
- Josephine Lyons – vocals
- Tom O'Connell – vocals
- Tom Madden – vocals
- Anders Geering – vocals
- Lance Burnett – vocals
- Johnny Damon – backing vocals on "Tessie"
- Bronson Arroyo – backing vocals on "Tessie"
- Lenny DiNardo – backing vocals on "Tessie"
- Jeff Horrigan – backing vocals on "Tessie"
- Bill Janovitz – backing vocals on "Tessie"
- Dr. Charles Stienberg – backing vocals on "Tessie"
- Joe Castiglione – voice sample on "Tessie"
- Ruhlmann, William. The Warrior's Code at AllMusic. Retrieved June 201, 2011.
- The Warrior's Code at the Dropkick Murphys official website.
- The Warrior’s Code at MusicBrainz (list of releases)