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I'm Shipping Up to Boston

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"I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
Promotional single by Dropkick Murphys
from the album The Warrior's Code and The Departed: Music from the Motion Picture
StudioQ Division (Somerville)
GenreCeltic punk
Lyricist(s)Woody Guthrie
  • David Bianco
  • Ken Casey
Dropkick Murphys singles chronology
"The Warrior's Code"
"I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
"The State of Massachusetts"

"I'm Shipping Up to Boston" is a song by the Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys, with lyrics written by folk singer Woody Guthrie.

The original version of the song was released in 2004 on Give 'Em the Boot IV and was re-recorded for their certified gold selling 2005 album, The Warrior's Code. The song gained worldwide attention for its use in the 2006 film The Departed, which boosted the band's popularity.

The song's lyrics describe a sailor who lost a prosthetic leg climbing the topsail, and is shipping up to Boston to "find my wooden leg." These were taken from a fragment of paper that Ken Casey found while looking through Woody Guthrie's archives.[1] The Dropkick Murphys put music to the lyrics as they did with the song "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight" from the 2003 album Blackout.

The single is the band's most successful to date and was certified double platinum. It reached No. 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and sold over 1,044,000 digital copies without ever entering the Hot 100 chart.[2]

The video features the Dropkick Murphys performing the song on the waterfront in East Boston. The band is also seen "hanging out" with hooligans while being chased by Boston police officers. The "hanging out" parts were later replaced with footage from The Departed for a second video tying in to the film. During President Joe Biden's April 2023 trip to Ireland, he went onstage for a speech to the song.[3]


Chart (2007) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 (Billboard) 1
Chart (2012) Peak
France (SNEP)[4] 174
Ireland (IRMA) 54
Chart (2013) Peak
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[5] 45
Chart (2016) Peak
Czech Republic Modern Rock (IFPI)[6] 3

In other media[edit]

In sport[edit]

At sporting events, the song is often used as a de facto anthem for Boston.


American football[edit]

Association football[edit]


Ice hockey[edit]



In film[edit]

In television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Other versions[edit]


  1. ^ Juul, -Matt (March 13, 2015). "'I'm Shipping Up to Boston': 10 Years of A Working-Class, Boston Anthem". boston.com. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  2. ^ "Week Ending March 21, 2010: Pastor Sapp's Chart Miracle – Chart Watch". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  3. ^ Rousseau, Morgan (April 14, 2023). "Biden brings some Boston energy to Ireland with raucous Dropkick Murphys entrance". Boston.com. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  4. ^ "Dropkick Murphys – I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (in French). Les classement single.
  5. ^ "Dropkick Murphys – I'm Shipping Up to Boston". Swiss Singles Chart.
  6. ^ "CZ - Radio - Top 20 Modern Rock - Shipping Up To Boston - Dropkick Murphys" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved June 21, 2023.
  7. ^ "9 Dropkick Murphys songs that aren't "I'm Shipping up to Boston"". Alternative Press. 17 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Dropkick Murphys "I'm Shipping up to Boston" Acoustic —Video Finds". 17 March 2015.
  9. ^ "AFL Commercial 2009 - In A League Of It's [sic] Own - HD". YouTube. ALZ. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  10. ^ "The Horror & the Glee: James Levine's Music for TV". ASCAP. Retrieved Nov 7, 2020.
  11. ^ Bereznak Alyssa (March 5, 2012). "Luck Season One, Episode Six Recap: 'I Didn't Figure You for a Jazz Fan'". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 4, 2012.

External links[edit]