The Warrior's Code

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For the honor code among warriors, see Warrior#Code.
The Warrior's Code
Studio album by Dropkick Murphys
Released June 21, 2005
Recorded 2004–2005
Genre Celtic punk, Irish folk
Length 41:04
Label Hellcat Records
Producer Ken Casey, David Bianco
Dropkick Murphys chronology
Singles Collection, Volume 2
The Warrior's Code
The Meanest of Times
Singles from The Warrior's Code
  1. "Sunshine Highway"
    Released: 2005
  2. "The Warrior's Code"
    Released: 2005
  3. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
    Released: 2006

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.

Songs and Composition[edit]

The Warrior's Code was the first Dropkick Murphys studio album to feature Tim Brennan and Scruffy Wallace.

"Your Spirit's Alive" was written in memory of the band's friend Greg "Chickenman" Riley, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2004.

"The Warrior's Code" is about Lowell, Massachusetts boxing legend Micky Ward, who is also shown on the album's cover. The song would later be used in the 2010 film The Fighter, a biopic about Ward.

"Captain Kelly's Kitchen" is another of the band's traditional arrangements.

"Sunshine Highway" was the first single from this album and has been featured on Royal Caribbean's Sports' Deck, even though the song is about drug rehabilitation.

"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 the band's second adaptation of a Woody Guthrie song, the first being "Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight" on their previous studio album, Blackout.

"Wicked Sensitive Crew" was written in response to accusations that the band's music and image promoted violence. The song includes the lyric "I ain't ashamed I cried when Mickey died in Rocky II",[1] although Mickey actually died of a heart attack after a confrontation with Clubber Lang in Rocky III. The band actually address this in the album credits, stating that "Mickey actually died in Rocky 3 but, hey, sue us, two rhymed better."[1]

"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 Farrar family's permission, the band released the song as a single. All of the proceeds went to the family. The band also performed an acoustic version of the song "Fields of Athenry" at his funeral; the recording was included as the B-side for the single.

"Tessie" is a reworking of a Boston Red Sox rally song. The song is listed as a bonus track, as it had been previously released on the Tessie EP in 2004, the same year the Red Sox won their first championship in 86 years.

A second bonus track titled "Hatebomb" can be found on the Japanese release.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[3] 4/5 stars[4]

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."[2] 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)." 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."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Your Spirit's Alive"   Dropkick Murphys 2:21
2. "The Warrior's Code"   Dropkick Murphys 2:30
3. "Captain Kelly's Kitchen"   Courtin' in the Kitchen traditional 2:48
4. "The Walking Dead"   Dropkick Murphys 2:07
5. "Sunshine Highway"   Dropkick Murphys 3:22
6. "Wicked Sensitive Crew"   Dropkick Murphys 2:59
7. "The Burden"   Dropkick Murphys 2:55
8. "Citizen C.I.A."   Dropkick Murphys 1:28
9. "The Green Fields of France"   Eric Bogle 4:46
10. "Take It and Run"   Dropkick Murphys 2:44
11. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"   Dropkick Murphys, Woody Guthrie 2:34
12. "The Auld Triangle"   Brendan Behan 2:41
13. "Last Letter Home"   Dropkick Murphys 3:32
14. "Tessie"   Will R. Anderson 4:15
Total length:


  • "Sunshine Highway"
  • "The Warrior's Code"
  • "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"
  • "Tessie" (released in 2004) #89 US Modern Rock Charts


Dropkick Murphys[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. The Warrior's Code at AllMusic. Retrieved June 201, 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links[edit]